AC News Issue 53 / Q2 2016

AC News Issue 53 / Q2 2016

The Audit Committee News is a quarterly publication, exclusively in electronic format since 2013, which informs you about all of the latest trends in its core focus areas of corporate governance, risk management & compliance and corporate reporting. The AC News features articles penned by experts from Switzerland and many other countries around the world.

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Editorial

Dear Board members,

In a context marked by the strong Swiss franc, increasing cost pressure and fierce competition, Swiss companies must position themselves optimally. In this regard, the sale of certain corporate business units can be appropriate in order to focus on core competencies. In their article, Timo Knak and Thomas Müller talk about the role of the Board of Directors in such sales transactions.

In 2012, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a body related to the OECD, published its revised 40 recommendations on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism & proliferation. The Swiss legislation was adapted subsequently. Jörg Kilchmann explains what measures must be taken by the Board of an unlisted company and what legal consequences result from non-compliance with these new rules.

Today the companies’ tax burden and tax transparency are at the center of the public’s attention. Boards are thus paying more and more heed to these topics. Base Erosion & Profit Shifting (BEPS) and Corporate Tax Reform III are key aspects in this respect. Hartwig Hoffmann and Christoph Funke highlight the existing gaps in the tax governance framework of many companies and make suggestions in order to involve Boards more closely in tax issues.

As from 2016, the report of the auditor of listed companies will contain concrete information on the facts that are the most significant for the audit (Key Audit Matters). Prof. Dr. Peter Leibfried shows what consequences this could have on the work of the Audit Committee.

At the international accounting level, the long-awaited (and sometimes dreaded) IFRS 16 on lease accounting has been published. Thomas Wicki presents the impact of this new standard on balance sheets as from 2019.

We hope that these articles will provide you with interesting information on current challenges and developments and look forward to receiving your feedback or questions.

Best regards,
Philipp Hallauer and Hélène Béguin

Corporate Governance

Risk oversight: a company-wide responsibility that concerns the Board as a whole

The ACI in the USA talked to Maggie Wilderotter (Executive Chairman at Frontier Communications) about risk oversight within a company and about the Board’s corresponding responsibility.

Read more (PDF)

Audit Committee Handbook

The tenth extract of the Audit Committee Handbook is dedicated to internal audit.

Read more (PDF)

Risk Management

Sale of corporate business units

Increasing pressure on margins, focus on core areas, increased competition: all these reasons can lead to the sale of certain corporate business units. In order to react in a targeted and strategically intelligent manner to such situations, the topic of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) must be addressed proactively in the Board’s discussions. A clear strategy must also be adopted in the sales process.

Read more (PDF, in German)

Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is a body related to the OCDE. In 2012, it published its revised 40 recommendations on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism & proliferation. The Swiss legislation was adapted subsequently. What should Boards take into account in this regard?

Read more (PDF, in German)

Tax Function Transformation

In recent years, the framework conditions that apply to the tax department and the management of the tax burden have evolved significantly. In the past, tax activities were generally isolated from business activities. Today tax issues are perceived very differently by the public as well as by the internal and external stakeholders. The Board must address these topics increasingly.

Read more (PDF, in German)

Corporate Reporting

Key Audit Matters

With the publication of the International Standard on Auditing (ISA) 701 Communicating Key Audit Matters in the Independent Auditor’s Report, the report of the auditor of listed companies will also have to be redesigned in Switzerland. What are the consequences on the work of the Audit Committee?

Read more (PDF, in German)

New standard on lease accounting

In January 2016, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) published IFRS 16 Leases, a new accounting standard on lease accounting. This represents a fundamental change in the recognition of such contracts.

Read more (PDF, in German)

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