The FRC Group on Audit Committees, chaired by Sir Robert Smith, was tasked with developing the guidance on audit committees in the Combined Code. The group's report, commonly referred to as the Smith Guidance or the Smith Report, was published on 20 January 2003 and codified the role of audit committees. It was subsequently revised and is now known as the FRC Guidance on Audit Committees.
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A revised version of the FRC Guidance on Audit Committees was published by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in September 2012.
At the same time, the FRC also published a Feedback statement: Revisions to the UK Corporate Governance Code and Guidance on Audit Committees which summarises the main points from the responses, the decisions taken by the FRC and the reasons for those decisions.
In response to requests for guidance on how audit committees evaluate the effectiveness of the external audit process, in May 2015 the FRC issued an Audit Quality Practice Aid to assist audit committees in evaluating audit quality.
The establishment of the FRC Group on Audit Committees was announced in the FRC press release 'FRC Group on Audit Committees starts work' on 12 September 2002. The terms of reference for the group were attached to the initial press release.
The original version of the guidance was entitled Audit Committees: Combined Code Guidance and was announced in the press release 'Sir Robert Smith launches report on audit committees' (PN70) on 20 January 2003.
The guidance has subsequently been revised and the latest version is available from the FRC website.
Guidance for audit committees series
A series of titles published by the ICAEW in May 2003 which were aimed at helping non-executive directors understand the proposals set out in the Smith Guidance. These are available as part of the ICAEW's corporate governance research reports and briefings.
Guidance for audit committees (the Smith report)
Summary of the Smith Report published by the Audit Committee Institute (KPMG) in 2003. The toolkit on the ACI website includes a further selection of specimen checklists, documents and reports.
In April 2012 the FRC launched a review of the UK Corporate Governance Code and the Guidance on Audit Committees. The full text of the consultation paper,Revisions to the UK Corporate Governance Code and Guidance on Audit Committees, and the Draft revised Guidance on Audit Committees are available to download from the FRC website. The consultation period closes on 13 July 2012.
A revised version of the FRC Guidance on Audit Committees was published by the FRC in December 2010.
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The ICSA director's guide
Bruce, M. (ICSA Information & Training, 2013)
This book covers essential information about the full-range of directors' duties and responsibilities. The appendices include guidance for directors on the Combined Code.
ICSA guidance on terms of reference audit committee
(Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, 2013)
This guidance note reflects the updated UK Corporate Governance Code (the Code) and FRC Guidance on Audit Committees (the FRC Guidance).
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