What Should be on the Audit Committee’s 2021 Agenda?
At the beginning of each year, accounting and consulting firms present their views on the issues that audit committees should focus on at year-end and during the coming 12 months. Below is a list (with hyperlinks to the documents) of some of these 2020 year-end and 2021 agenda papers.
Deloitte Center for Board Effectiveness, The strategic audit committee: Navigating 2021
Deloitte Center for Board Effectiveness, Year-end accounting and financial reporting considerations: Questions for audit committees to consider
EY Center for Board Matters, What audit committees should consider at the end of 2020 and beyond
KPMG Board Leadership Center, On the 2021 audit committee agenda
Protiviti, Setting the 2021 Audit Committee Agenda
PwC Governance Insights Center, Approaching the 2020 year-end financial reporting season
While each firm has its own perspective on where audit committees should direct their time and attention, there are many common themes. Some frequently mentioned 2021 agenda topics include the impact of COVID-19 on operations, financial reporting, disclosure, and internal control; changes in cyber security risk; increasing demands for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosure; impact of COVID-19 on the work of the external auditor and changes in audit risk assessment; the priorities of internal audit; and management’s processes for identifying and managing risk. A high-level review of these papers could be helpful to audit committees as a check that they are not overlooking topics that should be considered.