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New Audit Committee Guide launched at Sydney Business School

by Jonathan Flynn | Jul 05, 2017

The third edition of Audit Committees - A Guide to Good Practice was launched last week at the Sydney Business School by AICD’s Michael Coleman, Chairman of Audit Committee at Macquarie Group, and audit committee member at the Reserve Bank of Australia, Professor Roger Simnett AO, Chairman of the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board, and IIA-Australia’s CEO Peter Jones.

Mr Jones told the launch invitees that the first practice guide was a slim 28 page A 5 publication titled Audit Committees - Best Practice Guide published in 1997 in collaboration with the then Australian Accounting Research Foundation and AICD, and reprinted in 2001 in collaboration with Auditing and Assurance Standards Board and AICD.

The newly titled B 5 publication Audit Committees – A Guide to Good Practice was first published in 2008 and again in 2012 in collaboration with AUASB, AICD and IIA-Australia.

Mr Jones said the collaboration with AICD and AUASB on audit committee guidance has now reached the twenty year milestone, which is a remarkable achievement.

He said increased content particularly covering internal audit reflected the growing importance of the profession as an integral part of the governance process.

The new 115 page edition contains many new elements, which reflect changes in the Corporations Act, revised Accounting and Auditing Standards, and practices for external and internal auditors in the marketplace in the last five years, he said.

As part of the update, the internal audit section has now incorporated a diagram showing functional reporting lines of Chief Audit Executive to the CEO for administrative matters and directly to the audit committee for functional matters.

It includes reference to the revised IPPF Standards and four new appendixes, which includes a Management Representation letter, the role of the audit committee within the governance environment of the organisation, and outlines the four pillars of governance as the audit committee, executive management, internal audit and external audit. For the first time it also includes the Three Lines of Defence model and diagram.

The update includes a chart which defines the differences between external audit and internal audit.  IIA-Australia, AICD and AUASB all recognize there was much confusion in the marketplace when both disciplines use similar terms, which are fundamentally different in the context of specific activities.
The best examples are the use of the terms Assurance, Independence, and Opinion, all of which have distinctly different meanings within external and internal audit.

The publication includes for the first time a work plan for sample calendar of events based on a 30 June year-end, with an interim reporting period at 31 December.

The work plan includes a sample corporate reporting schedule, external and internal audit activities, including approval of the internal audit plan, risk management, internal controls and fraud program, compliance and ethics and committee performance and reporting.

The new edition is available from IIA-Australia RRP $40.00 with discounts available for members.

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