AC News Issue 56 / Q1 2017 | KPMG | CH

AC News Issue 56 / Q1 2017

AC News Issue 56 / Q1 2017

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

Ladies and gentlemen, members of the Board


Soon we will once again find ourselves in the hustle and bustle of preparing the annual accounts. As usual, time is of the essence and members of the Board of Directors must have quick access to relevant information in order to be able to ask the right questions. Reto Zemp explains the critical accounting and auditing issues that deserve the Board of Directors’ special attention this year. The primary focus will undoubtedly be the "key audit matters” which, for the first time, have to be published in the audit opinion, and to what extent these should be adequately addressed also in the notes to the annual financial statements.
 

IFRS users can breathe more easily now: after the completion of the last two major projects (insurance contracts and framework), the IASB plans to focus on the review and continuous improvement of existing standards. Laura Galbiati provides an overview of the IASB’s five-year plan.
 

Sustainability reporting continues to gain in importance, on the one hand because investors are increasingly expecting these reports, on the other hand because regulations, such as the EU Directive applicable from 2017 concerning the publication of non-financial information, require it. In an interview, Harvard Professor George Serafeim highlights how companies benefit if they address this topic thoroughly, and Isabelle Hirs Schaller gives an overview on the state of sustainability reporting in Switzerland.
 

In our increasingly digitized business world, the risk of cyber-attacks has also increased continuously. Gerben Schreurs and Matthias Bossardt show the questions a Board of Directors needs to ask in order to initiate an appropriate discussion. What has become clear is that just reacting to developments is no longer sufficient.
 

On 23 November 2016, the Swiss Federal Council adopted its dispatch on the corporate tax reform to the attention of the Parliament. While the legislative proposal provides additional flexibility and legal certainty, it also contains additional requirements for the protection of creditors and shareholders. Therese Amstutz and Jörg Kilchmann will provide an outline of these proposals.
 

Wishing you a merry and peaceful holiday season and a successful start into the New Year, we look forward to providing you with relevant information also in 2017.
 

Warm regards,
Philipp Hallauer and Hélène Béguin

Corporate Reporting

The 2016 closing of the accounts is imminent – critical accounting and auditing issues

In connection with the 2016 closing, Reto Zemp explaines the critical accounting and auditing issues which from the point of view of the Board of Directors deserve special attention this year. The primary focus are the "key audit matters” which, for the first time, have to be published in the audit opinion, and to what extent these should be adequately addressed also in the notes to the annual financial statements.

Read more: Article by Reto Zemp (PDF, in German)
 

IASB: its priorities for the next five years

After completing the last two major projects (insurance contracts and framework), the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) plans to focus on the review and continuous improvement of existing standards. Laura Galbiati provides an overview of the IASB’s five-year plan.

Read more: Article by Laura Galbiati (PDF)
 

Sustainability issues move from the periphery

Sustainability reporting continues to gain in importance. In an interview, Harvard Professor George Serafeim highlights how companies greatly benefit if they address this topic thoroughly.

Afterwards, Isabelle Hirs Schaller gives an overview on the state of sustainability reporting in Switzerland.

Read more: Articles by the ACI USA and Isabelle Hirs-Schaller (PDF)

Risk Management & Compliance

Addressing cyber risks in an increasingly connected world

In our increasingly digitized business world, the risk of cyber-attacks has also increased continuously. Gerben Schreurs and Matthias Bossardt show the questions a Board of Directors needs to ask in order to initiate an appropriate discussion.

Read more: Article by Gerben Schreurs and Matthias Bossardt (PDF)
 

Swiss Federal withholding tax – correction of a deficient practice

On 30 September, the Federal Parliament voted in favor of many Swiss taxpayers who had been encumbered with interests for late payments due to a belated declaring of dividends. Stefan Kuhn and Oliver Eichenberger explain the background, detailing what companies affected by this should do.

Read more: Article by Stefan Kuhn and Oliver Eichenberger (PDF, in German)
 

Corporate Governance

Chances and risks of the current amendment of the company law

On 23 November 2016, the Swiss Federal Council adopted its dispatch on the company law reform to the attention of the Parliament. While the legislative proposal provides additional flexibility and legal certainty, it also contains additional requirement for the protection of creditors and shareholders. Therese Amstutz and Jörg Kilchmann will provide an outline of these proposals.

Read more: Article by Therese Amstutz and Jörg Kilchmann (PDF, in German)
 

Audit Committee Handbook

The thirteenth extract from the Audit Committee Handbook is dedicated again to the external audit. In this issue, the election, re-election, deselection or resignation of the auditors is being discussed.

Read more: Audit Committee Handbook Chapter 6, part II (PDF)
 

© 2017 KPMG Holding AG is a member of the KPMG network of independent firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss legal entity. All rights reserved.

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