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Tools Aim to Improve Audit Committee Assessments

The Center for Audit Quality recently released its External Auditor Assessment Tool designed to assist audit committees in appointing, overseeing, and determining compensation for the external auditor. The tool contains sample questions to help committees evaluate quality of services and sufficiency of resources provided by the engagement team; quality of services and sufficiency of resources provided by the audit firm; communication and interaction with the external auditor; and auditor independence, objectivity, and professional skepticism. The tool also includes a sample form and rating scale for obtaining input from company personnel about the external auditor, as well as resources for additional reading. Meanwhile, audit firm BDO released a comprehensive resourceto help audit committees evaluate their own performance and determine the activities the audit committee should be engaging in throughout the year. According to the BDO Center for Corporate Governance and Financial Reporting, the self-assessment tool is to be used as a guide in correlation with audit committee charter responsibilities approved by the full board.

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