CAQ Pushes for More “Audit Committee Disclosure” Transparency

Here’s the intro from this blog by Cooley’s Cydney Posner: “The Center for Audit Quality, working with Ideagen Audit Analytics, has just released a new edition of its annual ‘Audit Committee Transparency Barometer,’ which, over the past ten years, has measured the robustness of audit committee disclosures in proxy statements among companies in the S&P Composite 1500. Why is that important? According to the CAQ, “numerous studies have identified a positive correlation between increased communication of audit committee oversight through disclosures in the proxy statement and increased audit quality.” Not to mention the interest of investors and other stakeholders in better disclosure.

The bottom line, according to the CAQ, is that the level of voluntary transparency has continued to increase steadily in most core areas of audit committee responsibility, such as oversight of the external auditor, as well as in evolving areas, such as cybersecurity risk and ESG.

But it could still stand some improvement. In light of the “current environment of economic uncertainty, geopolitical crises, and new ways of working,” the CAQ encourages audit committees to jettison boilerplate and “tell their story through tailored disclosures in the proxy statement…. For audit committees to enhance their disclosures, they should provide further discussion not just of what they do in their oversight of the external auditor but also how they do it.” In the Barometer, the CAQ offers some specific ideas on just how audit committees can improve their disclosure and enhance its utility.”

The blog goes on to describe the specific audit committee disclosure recommendations – and the questions that companies should be asking about this type of disclosure – that the CAQ notes…

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