1887

n Transactions of the Centre for Business Law - Die ouditkomitee se invloed op voor-aanstellings-aktiwiteite - die eerste stadium van die ouditproses. Hoofstuk 4

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Abstract

The aim of this study is to investigate the attributes of an effective audit committee and to evaluate the influence of the audit committee on the audit process of the external auditor. The development of the audit committee in certain countries is briefly noted and serves as background for the studying of the above-mentioned objectives. South Africa follows in the footsteps of countries such as the USA, Canada and England regarding the institution of audit committees. The King report confirms the position of the audit committee as an element of corporate governance. The study of the attributes of an effective audit committee provides guidelines regarding the institution, organizational position, meeting procedures and the composition of the audit committee. There is concern that audit committees in South Africa does not adhere to some of these attributes. With regard to the influence of the audit committee on the audit process of the external auditor, the conclusion is reached that audit committees can have a meaningful, constructive and economic viable influence on each stage of the audit process. Several functions that can be performed by the audit committee are identified, for example assessment of the reasons for and against a proposed change of auditing firm, the evaluation and recommendation of the most appropriate auditing firm, discussions with the auditor regarding his reactions to important matters which might influence the business of the entity, and the obtaining of explanations regarding various matters directly concerning the financial statements and the entity. Numerous advantages regarding the audit committee's involvement with the audit process are identified. As a result of the numerous duties and extensive responsibilities that might be assigned to the audit committee, care should be taken that the committee might be overburdened; it might result in the reduction of the effectiveness of the audit committee or may lead to the situation where individuals might be hesitant or unwilling to serve on the committee, due to the high risks involved. Care should be taken not to utilize the audit committee for trifling matters in corporate governance. This might lead to the situation where the status of the audit committee as overseer of the financial reporting and the internal control system is changed to that as full-time participant of the financial reporting process. Should this happen, many advantages of the audit committee, especially those relating to independence, might be lost. It is desirable that a guideline, setting out the minimum matters to be communicated between the external auditor and the audit committee, be drawn up by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). The joint guideline of SAICA, The Institute of Directors and The Institute of Internal Auditors of 1991, should also be amended for adherence to changing circumstances.

Die doel met hierdie studie is om die eienskappe van 'n effektiewe ouditkomitee vas te stel en om die invloed van die ouditkomitee op die ouditproses van die eksterne ouditeur te evalueer. Die ontwikkeling van die ouditkomitee in sekere lande is kortliks aangedui en dien as agtergrond vir die bestudering van die bogenoemde doelwitte. Suid-Afrika volg in die voetspore van lande soos die VSA, Kanada en Engeland betreffende die instelling van die ouditkomitee. Die King-verslag bevestig dat die ouditkomitee 'n element van die korporatiewe beheerstruktuur moet wees. Aan die hand van die eienskappe van 'n effektiewe ouditkomitee word riglyne geformuleer vir die instelling, organisatoriese posisie, vergaderprosedures en samestelling van die ouditkomitee. Daar bestaan 'n vermoede dat sommige van hierdie eienskappe nie by ouditkomitees in Suid-Afrika aangetref word nie. Wat die invloed van die ouditkomitee op die ouditproses van die eksterne ouditeur betref, is bevind dat die ouditkomitee 'n sinvolle, konstruktiewe en ekonomies regverdigbare invloed op elke stadium van die ouditproses kan uitoefen. Verskeie funksies wat die ouditkomitee kan uitvoer is geï?dentifiseer, byvoorbeeld die oorweging van die redes vir en teen 'n beoogde verandering van die ouditeursfirma, die evaluering en maak van aanbevelings met betrekking tot die aanstelling van die geskikste ouditeursfirma, bespreking met die ouditeur oor sy reaksie en optrede met betrekking tot belangrike aangeleenthede wat die besigheid van die onderneming beï?nvloed, en die verkryging van verduidelikings vir aangeleenthede wat direk verband hou met die finansi?ële jaarstate en die onderneming. Verskeie voordele verbonde aan die ouditkomitee se betrokkenheid by die ouditproses is ook ge?ïdentifiseer. As gevolg van die verskeidenheid pligte en uitgebreide verantwoordelikhede wat aan die ouditkomitee toegewys kan word, bestaan die gevaar dat hierdie lading te swaar word; dit kan veroorsaak dat die doeltreffendheid van die ouditkomitee drasties verminder of dat persone huiwerig of onwillig mag wees om in die komitee te dien. Daar moet gewaak word teen die misbruik van die ouditkomitee vir onbenullige kwessies wat in korporatiewe beheer ondervind mag word. Dit kan meebring dat dié? komitee se status as oorhoofse monitor van die finansi?ële verslagdoening en die interne beheerstelsel ondermyn word en verander na di?é van voltydse deelnemer aan die finansië?le verslagdoeningsproses. Gebeur dit, kan baie van die belangrike eienskappe van die ouditkomitee, veral sy onafhanklike status, verlore gaan. Dit is wenslik dat 'n standpunt wat die minimum sake wat tussen die eksterne ouditeur en die ouditkomitee bespreek behoort te word, deur die Suid-Afrikaanse Instituut van Geoktrooieerde Rekenmeesters (SAIGR) opgestel word. Die gesamentlike standpunt van die SAIGR, Die Instituut van Direkteure en Die Instituut van Interne Ouditeure van 1991, behoort ook by die veranderende omstandighede aangepas te word.

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/content/medsor/2000/32/EJC73626
2000-01-01
2016-12-07
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