What Should be on the Audit Committee’s 2023 Agenda?
At the beginning of each year, many accounting and consulting firms present their views on the issues on which audit committees should focus in connection with the end of the prior year and during the coming 12 months. Below is a list (with hyperlinks to the documents) of five of these 2022 year-end/2023 agenda papers.
Deloitte Center for Board Effectiveness, On the audit committee’s agenda, 2023: The year of the risk-centric agenda.
EY Center for Board Matters, What audit committees should prioritize in 2023.
KPMG Board Leadership Center, On the 2023 audit committee agenda.
Protiviti, Setting the 2023 Audit Committee Agenda.
PwC Governance Insights Center, Approaching the 2022 year-end financial reporting season.
These papers approach the topic of how audit committees should set their agendas at different levels of generality, and each firm has its own perspective on where audit committees should direct their time and attention. Not surprisingly, however, there are many common themes. Some frequently mentioned 2023 audit committee agenda topics (along with references to examples of reports that discuss them) include:
Enterprise risk management and enterprise risks that could affect financial reporting (Deloitte, EY, Protiviti).
Cybersecurity and other technology risks (Deloitte).
Post-pandemic challenges, including supply chain disruption, workforce shortages, and inflationary pressures (Deloitte, Protiviti, PWC).
Impact of U.S. and global tax policy changes on financial reporting (EY, KPMG, PWC).
ESG reporting, including the SEC’s climate change disclosure proposals; impact of ESG risks and opportunities on financial reporting (All five reports).
Role of internal audit; internal audit’s innovation and maintenance of relevance and focus on key risks (KPMG, Protiviti).
Company culture, including company focus on ethics and compliance; warning flags regarding disfunction (KPMG, Protiviti).
Developments in the crypto assets landscape (PWC).
Proxy statement disclosure regarding the work of the audit committee (PWC).
Role of the CFO, including efforts to utilize traditional CFO skills to add value in new ways; talent and leadership in the finance organization (KPMG, Protiviti).
For last year’s audit committee agenda suggestions, see What Should be on the Audit Committee’s 2022 Agenda?, January-February 2022 Update.
A high-level review of these papers could be helpful to an audit committee as a check that it is not overlooking topics that should be on its agenda. Also, most of these papers include suggested questions that the audit committee could pursue with management in order to better understand the various suggested topics. Those questions could provide a good starting point for discussion.