The audit committee’s perspective continues to be a bellwether for the business and the board.
Through KPMG’s global network of Board Leadership Centers, more than 750 audit committee members and chairs around the world were surveyed. As highlighted in this report, the expanding scope and complexity of the audit committee’s workload and oversight responsibilities are an important indicator of the challenges facing businesses today. Uncertainty and disruption across the global business landscape are intensifying pressures on the risk and control environment in new and unexpected ways. From economic and geopolitical volatility, growing cyber threats, and artificial intelligence to climate, talent, and other environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues, the range and interconnectedness of risks and macro forces are putting corporate governance to the test.
Encouragingly, our survey results show that most audit committees view their company’s risk management processes as sophisticated or keeping pace. But their confidence is muted by sobering concerns—particularly risks posed by the company’s digital activities, potential gaps in the oversight of emerging risks, and talent needs in the finance and internal audit organizations.
The top ways to improve the audit committee’s effectiveness? Better information quality and flow from management, spending more in-person time with management and other directors between committee meetings, and adding specific expertise to the committee.
To that end, we hope this survey report helps spark robust conversations with your audit committee, board, and management as you navigate the challenges ahead.