Audit committees’ agendas continue to expand as companies are faced with a rapidly-changing global business landscape, the proliferation of standards and regulations, increased stakeholder scrutiny and a heightened enforcement environment. As a consequence, audit committees must continue to transform and evolve to maintain and increase their effectiveness. What actions are they taking? Leading audit committees are setting a strong tone at the top, owning their agenda, building strong relationships with auditors, evaluating their informational and educational needs, and critically assessing their own performance.
As the era of joint standard-setting with the IASB comes to a close, this Point of view sets out why the FASB should continue to focus on improving the quality of US GAAP in key areas while preventing further divergence between US GAAP and IFRS when feasible.
This Point of view highlights how companies may benefit from integrated reporting in response to stakeholders’ calls for enhanced disclosure of environmental, social, governance and other nonfinancial information. It also outlines the benefits some companies are realizing as they explore integrated reporting.
During the recent economic downturn, some stakeholders were surprised to learn that companies faced liquidity issues. As a result, the FASB and PCAOB are currently revisiting the accounting and auditing guidance around going concern assessments. Our Point of view on assessing going concern highlights that a standard that will require a company to provide earlier and more frequent, scalable disclosures that increase if conditions deteriorate will benefit stakeholders. However, we recognize that the auditor's role under the existing auditing standards is important to stakeholders. We believe improvements in the reporting model will be achieved most effectively by accounting and auditing standard setters working together to develop complementary standards.
The FASB and IASB have a number of projects underway that could further expand or otherwise change what is reported within net income, and outside of net income within other comprehensive income. Existing accounting standards do not provide clear principles for when items should be excluded from net income and recognized in other comprehensive income. In this Point of view, we observe that we have heard many diverse views from investors, preparers, standard setters, and auditors on this topic. We believe that more consistency regarding the attributes of items initially excluded from net income would be beneficial for investors...