The Effective Audit Committee

Date: On a date of your choice
Location: Delivered as an interactive briefing
Event Code: EAC

Course Details

The PRA and FCA are examining the structure, powers and rigour of Audit Committees and are asking more questions about matters such as the independence of this key group and the degree to which they challenge the information they receive.

“The upswing of government intervention and the general call from investors for transparency and corporate accountability demands a response from boards, management and auditors. Against this backdrop, the role and function of the audit committee has come under the spotlight.“ FRC - 'Walk the line' discussion paper 

This 2 hour briefing brings together the key elements that any Audit Committee should ensure they address to evidence their effectiveness, from the Terms of Reference they adopt,  to the thoroughness with which they examine the audit reports produced. 

Who should attend?

This is an essential event for those who are members of the Audit Committee or responsible for reporting to this Committee

The Agenda

1. Responsibilities of the Audit Committee

  • The expectations of the Audit Committee
  • Scope and key elements of your Terms of Reference
  • The constituency of the Audit Committee and attendees
  • Matters that may impact the independence of the Committee and Internal Audit
  • What regulators now expect and what they focus upon including the latest guidance from the FRC

2. The Oversight role

  • What the oversight role involves
  • Adequacy of internal financial controls
  • Accuracy and integrity of financial statements
  • Sources of assurance

3. Internal and External audit relationships

  • The evolving role of Internal Audit in Financial services
  • The audit committee's role in supporting & challenging this
  • The role, value and limitations of External Audit
  • Managing the quality of External Audit

4. Risk and Audit – the relative responsibilities

  • SYSC 21 guidance on Risk committees
  • The combined responsibilities
  • Separate Risk and Audit committees where a separate risk committee is in place Moving from compliance to effectiveness

5. Moving from compliance to effectiveness

  • To be effective what is the essential information needed from different areas?
  • Recognising what and when to challenge and how to ensure the issue is resolved
  • Reporting to the Board, what should be reported and recorded.
  • How to respond to the question “ What makes the Audit Committee effective?”

Key Benefits

  • Understand what the terms of reference must contain to be up to date and reflect current thinking.
  • Recognise what key competencies members should have.
  • Know how the audit committee should interface with compliance, risk management,  internal audit and external auditors
  • Know what “effective” means in this context and what information will be essential to be effective.
  • Understand the importance of the minutes and what must be recorded to reflect the value that the audit committee adds.
  • Consider what challenges you may receive from a regulatory review and how to address these beforehand.
  • Discuss current issues, including recent guidance on the role and duties of internal audit and of the audit committee from the frc, the iia and others

Your Consultant – Eithne McManus

As an expert in risk management and insurance, Eithne consults with firms on finance, actuarial and audit matters. She leads many workshops and training events to keep Directors and senior managers up to date on these topics.  Her business experience allows her to understand the practical issues that firms face and to demonstrate ways to improve on the status quo.

She has been a consultant for over 7 years providing consultancy services to financial services companies in the areas of enterprise risk management, capital assessment and outsourcing.  She is also a non-executive director of a small mutual insurer where she chairs the audit committee.

A qualified actuary, Eithne spent much of her career with City of Westminster Assurance, where she was Chief Financial Officer before becoming Chief Executive. After the sale of CWA to Chesnara, Eithne assumed responsibility for risk management within the Chesnara group as a whole.




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