KPMG has published a list of Audit Committee priorities for 2014, highlighting issues that firm believes will be key for audit committees in the coming year. These priorities include:
- Staying focused on job #1: Financial accounting and reporting.
- Monitoring key PCAOB proposals potentially impacting the external auditor's role.
- Leveraging internal audit as a barometer of the company's financial health -- helping the audit committee understand the quality of financial controls, processes, and people.
- Making sure the company's ethics and compliance programs are keeping up with new vulnerabilities to fraud and misconduct.
- Understanding the company's significant tax risks and tax risk appetite; pay particular attention to the global "tax morality" and "tax transparency" debates, and assess the impact of tax on the company's brand.
KPMG’s publication also contains a list of broader governance matters for audit committees:
- Understand how technology is continuing to transform the competitive landscape -- and assess whether the board's oversight processes enable directors to help lead the company forward.
- Recognize that good risk management entails both defense and offense.
- Set the tone and closely monitor leadership's commitment to that tone, and actively "listen to the conversation" below senior management and outside the corporate office.