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Audit committees in Europe

A key feature of effective corporate governance, audit committees play a pivotal role in overseeing the integrity and quality of financial reporting. As such, they are a natural source of insights into how businesses are approaching changing governance, reporting, audit and risk management requirements.

ICAEW and Deloitte have been working together to help enhance understanding of how audit committees in a number of EU member states have evolved and are functioning today.  Our joint research initiative explores the challenges and opportunities facing audit committees in different countries, by sharing insights from audit committee members themselves linked to composition, role, performance evaluation, audit quality, impact and challenges for the future. In doing so we hope to contribute to broader reflections on the role and responsibilities of audit committees in Europe.

Facing change: audit committees in Europe

Building on the joint ICAEW – Deloitte 2017 report, our new report expands examination of the evolving roles and changing perceptions of audit committees to a further six EU countries – namely Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Malta, The Netherlands and Portugal. The report highlights both the differences and commonalities facing audit committees operating across a range of sectors, in entities of varying size and structure – and in countries with differing corporate governance traditions. In addition to assessing ways of working and areas of impact, our 2019 report takes a closer look at how audit committees are dealing with evolutions in corporate reporting and corporate governance frameworks as well responding to far-reaching changes resulting from the accelerating technological transformation of business and society.

Making a difference: audit committees in Central and Eastern Europe

In 2017, ICAEW and Deloitte came together to survey audit committee members in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovenia. We found that audit committees in CEE were playing an increasingly important role in ensuring reliable and informative reporting. While in many instances the changes were significant, a number of challenges still required attention.