Training of Audit Committeee Members in the U.S.

From Deloitte's 5/2012 "Audit Committee Brief" – Education The NYSE listing standards require board education to be addressed in the company’s corporate governance guidelines. Boards and audit committees should use a needs-based approach to determine the specific topics in a continuing education program. Given the enhanced focus on the responsibilities of boards and audit committees, continuing education for directors is an area of increasing importance. According to the 2011 Board Practices Report, 71 percent of boards receive in-house training from management, 60 percent of directors are reimbursed for attending public forums or peer group sessions, and 21 percent receive in-house education from a third party. Public forums on corporate governance are offered by many professional services firms, universities, and not-for-profit organizations. Benefits include the opportunity to meet with peers and share experiences, and these programs can be invaluable for gaining knowledge from experts on trends in corporate governance. However, boards should be careful not to rely completely on public programs designed for a broad audience, because they may not address the dynamics of a specific company and its industry. An increasingly popular option is a customized program of continuing education. When designing such a program, the board should identify risks and complex issues facing the organization. For the audit committee, the focus is more specific, centered on its role to exercise primary oversight of the independent auditor relationship and management’s financial reporting process. Training activities often cover financial reporting and accounting issues important to the company, such as critical accounting policies, regulatory mandates, and internal controls. Self-assessment tools, such as Deloitte’s assessment tools, help to identify specific areas for educational focus.

Audit Committee Brief May 2012


Other Audit Committee Briefs by Deloitte

April 2012

June 2012


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