Who Should Fill the Role of the Audit Committee Chair?

Who Should Fill the Role of the Audit Committee Chair?

The role of the audit committee chair is without question a demanding one. This role requires a strong, independent and competent communicator who is willing to ask tough questions of management and others in order to truly understand and ensure that the audit committee is focused on risk management and financial oversight of the organization and that the organization’s strategic direction is in line with reality. The audit committee chair should be financially literate. This is not to say that the audit committee chair needs to be the financial expert of the committee, but more often than not this may be the case. In addition to being financially literate, a chair should be an experienced leader who can be forward-thinking and have the time to set agendas and conduct both regularly scheduled and special meetings, as necessary, that effectively involve all of the key stakeholders (management, auditors and the board) and get to the heart of organizational governance and financial reporting matters.

BDO Insight

A best practice that we continue to see is the audit committee chair setting aside the time to meet individually with the external auditors, internal auditors and management, as necessary, prior to audit committee meetings to not only better understand matters to be discussed with the audit committee but to assist the chair in prioritizing the topics to be discussed and the time allotted to them.

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