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Reaching Key Financial Reporting Decisions: How Directors and Auditors Interact by Tony Hines, Vivien Beattie, Stella Fearnley

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15

Attributes and Procedures of the Audit Committee and the Audit Committee Chair: Evidence

15.1 OVERVIEW

In this chapter we review the attributes and activities of the audit committee and of the ACC which emerge from the survey reported in Chapter 3 and from the more detailed information about audit committee attributes and procedures provided by our interviewees in each of the case studies. Selected attributes of the nine audit committees in our case studies are shown in the overview of cases in Table 4.1 (Chapter 4). A particular issue which emerges from the literature is the limited research into the process and detailed procedures of audit committees and about the specific role of the ACC as opposed to the audit committee itself. In this chapter, companies have not been referred to by name as some of the material comes from the abbreviated case in Chapter 13.

15.2 THE AUDIT COMMITTEE

15.2.1 Membership and Attendance

The audit committee membership in the case studies ranged from three to five members, which is in line with the survey findings of an average audit committee membership of 3.4. The number of meetings reported by the interviewees ranged from a minimum of three to more than six. This is also compatible with the survey which shows a mean of four meetings. Unsurprisingly, the larger companies held more audit committee meetings. Meetings were scheduled in advance to fit in with the cycle of main board meetings and were normally held before the main board meeting took ...

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