An Independent Audit board review stands out because of our ability to take a specialist look at the different areas of board responsibility and see how they all fit together. As board life becomes more complex and demanding the work of board committees becomes all-important.
The committees need to be working well so looking thoroughly at committee effectiveness is an increasingly important part of a board evaluation. And the committee effectiveness equation is not as simple as some might think.
When we’re doing a board review we’ll take a look at all of the main board committees: Audit, Risk, (if there is one), Remuneration and Nomination. And if you have additional committees, we could take a look at those too.
The review might be “light touch”, with questions covered in the same discussions as those covering the Board itself.
Or you might opt for a deeper review. This might cover all the committees and how they work together, or it might focus on a specific one.
Most often this will be the Audit Committee (or Audit & Risk Committee). For financial institutions, it could well be for a separate Risk Committee. Here, Independent Audit is especially and uniquely well-placed:
- Several of our partners are former audit and risk management partners in Big Four firms. We have an in-depth and inside understanding of internal audit and external audit.
- Several of us chair or have sat on audit committees – we’ve seen it from the non-executives’ viewpoint too.
- We have conducted extensive research into risk governance and have a specialist understanding of what Audit and Risk Committees need to look for.
For the Remuneration Committee and Nomination Committee we draw on the experience of our Partner who specialised in executive remuneration before joining Independent Audit.
Across all committees we draw on the extensive thinking undertaken in producing guides on committee effectiveness such as in our Little Blue Book of Governance Pitfalls or guide to audit committee effectiveness.
And developing the committee modules for our web-based self-assessment tool Thinking Board has highlighted how getting the committees right isn’t as straightforward as many think. If you’d like to discuss further how you can use Thinking Board for a rigorous committee review, contact us to arrange a demo.