The Quoted Companies Alliance (the QCA) has published a revised Audit Committee Guide (the Guide) which replaces guidance published in 2009.

The QCA is an independent membership organization that represents the interests of small and mid-cap quoted companies and publishes best practice guides to help inform members of their obligations.

The Guide is designed to assist audit committee members, especially the audit committee chair, of small and mid-size quoted companies to be effective in their roles of complying with regulatory best practice but also of meeting the expectations of investors.  There are number of changes from the 2009 publication.  These include:

  • a greater emphasis on the audit committee's role in enhancing trust in a company and in maintaining the trust and confidence of shareholders to reflect the increased focus of this aspect of the role since the original guide was published in 2009
  • a greater emphasis on the audit committee's role in enhancing trust in a company and in maintaining the trust and confidence of shareholders to reflect the increased focus of this aspect of the role since the original guide was published in 2009
  • updates to reflect recent regulatory changes and best practice and to integrate (where appropriate) aspects of the QCA Corporate Governance Guide which was reissued in 2013
  • references to the FRC Guidance on Risk Management, Internal Control and Related Financial and Business Reporting as the benchmark against which performance of the audit committee will be judged
  • focusing on how the audit committee, the board and the external auditors should work together
  • expanding the roles and responsibilities of the audit committee members and looking at what the operational culture of the audit committee should be
  • providing details of what should be in an induction pack for a new audit committee member
  • an appendix which sets out a suggested work programme for the audit committee with suggested agenda items for meetings and an indication as to where in the year the appropriate meeting may fall.

Copies of the Guide can be obtained from the QCA's website,www.theqca.com.