The Quoted Companies Alliance, the membership organisation in the UK which advocates the interests of small and mid-sized quoted companies (the QCA) has recently revised its latest Guide for Audit Committees. The guide is a companion volume to the QCA’s Corporate Governance Code for Small and Mid-Sized Quoted Companies and seeks to provide practical advice and support for directors appointed to audit committees.

Smaller companies have fewer independent non-executive directors to populate their board committees than the largest listed companies. Accordingly, the responsibility of audit committee members on these companies is very great. A lot of reliance will be placed both on advisors and these non-executive directors.

The QCA’s Audit Committee Guide seeks to achieve three things:

  • to be both accessible, and concise, following the model of the QCA Corporate Governance Code;
  • to reflect a deeper understanding of the operations of the audit committee and greater disclosure of this to shareholders, emphasising the key role of the committee has in the promotion of business trust; and
  • to be a useful reference manual to the audit committee member and company secretary.

The new QCA guide focuses in particular on the people involved in the audit process, the roles they play and the responsibilities they discharge, reflecting a view that people remain at the heart of good governance.

By Edward Craft