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New audit committee survey reveals trends on risks, ESG reporting and more

In late January, a survey entitled “Audit Committee Practices Report: Common Threads Across Audit Committees” was published by Deloitte and the Center for Audit Quality, an affiliate of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The survey analyzed 246 responses, including 86% of respondents who served on audit committees of public companies. Here are some key findings from that survey.

Key concerns

The top area of focus for almost everyone (96%) was financial reporting and internal controls, including fraud risks. Many also reported concerns related to:

  • Cybersecurity (53%),

  • Data privacy (48%),

  • Ethics and compliance (48%),

  • Third-party risk (47%), and

  • Enterprise risk management (42%).

Almost all (98%) of those surveyed said that audit quality has increased or remained the same compared with the previous year. But 42% indicated that fraud risk has increased.

Teleworking during the COVID pandemic was cited as a key reason for the enhanced risk, and 74% of respondents reported that their company’s internal controls had been updated over the last year to address the remote work environment.