Is Governance Keeping Pace? Highlights From KPMG's 2012 Audit Committee Issues Conference

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By KPMG's Audit Committee Institute | March 15, 2012

Aside from financial communications, disclosures and related controls, the top concern for many of the 140 audit committee members attending KPMG's 2012 Audit Committee Issues Conference is the adequacy of "governance processes, controls and risk management -- particularly in light of emerging technologies, globalization and changes to the business."

As detailed in this new report from KPMG's Audit Committee Institute -- Is Governance Keeping Pace? Challenges and Priorities Shaping the Audit Committee Agenda -- risk and the control environment are front and center for audit committees and boards as they help companies navigate increasingly complex and rapidly changing business, technology and risk environments.

Key insights and takeaways from the conference include:

  • Considering the need to move beyond a "legacy approach" to managing risk
  • Recognizing that social media and emerging technologies are driving revolutions in information and customer engagement
  • Focusing on critical "defensive" IT risks posed by social media and rapid technology change (information privacy/security, cyber security, protection of IP and "all things digital," reputation risk)
  • Devoting more time to accounting judgments and estimates, as well as the quality of disclosures
  • Staying vigilant (or intensifying the focus) on legal/regulatory compliance risk -- particularly whistleblower programs, FCPA and corporate culture
  • Considering whether the audit committee/board has the skills, expertise and boardroom culture to test management's thinking (and its own) going forward
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