The Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) organized a virtual seminar to communicate the roles of audit committees in corporate governance, particularly in overseeing the quality of financial reporting process with the aim to enhance the quality of corporate governance and financial reports. The seminar was held on 29 November 2021 and attended by more than 600 participants from 400 listed companies.
SEC Secretary-General Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol said: “Audit committees can be considered the representatives of retail investors and are key stakeholders in the financial reporting ecosystem. They not only play an important role in promoting the sustainable quality of the listed companies’ financial reports but also help to reinforce fraud prevention. Over the years, the SEC has collaborated with the Thai Institute of Directors (IOD) in encouraging audit committees to work closely with auditors. We have disseminated the applicable guidelines for the relevant matters and continuously hold knowledge-sharing seminars on topics related to audit committees.”
SEC Secretary-General gave opening remarks on this occasion, followed by a keynote address on “The Importance of the Audit Committee in the Capital Market and Roles of the Audit Committee in Good Corporate Governance”, by Deputy Secretary-General Sirivipa Supantanet. Assistant Secretary-General Thawatchai Kiatkwankul, and Director of Audit Oversight Department Apichaya Follett led the presentation on “Overseeing the Quality of Financial Reporting Process”, followed by Director of Corporate Finance Department 3 Songyod Bunjoungmanee on the subject of “Disclosure of the Report of Audit Committee in One Report”.
This seminar was organized with the aim to accentuate the importance of the roles of audit committees in corporate governance, especially in overseeing the quality of financial reporting process, selecting quality auditors, and communicating adequately with the auditors. It also served as a channel to provide information and useful techniques for assessing and selecting quality auditors, guidance on communication with the auditors, as well as existing mechanisms and tools that can promote effectiveness of audit committees’ duties, with the purpose to enhance the quality of corporate governance and financial reports. The seminar covered important topics such as:
- Driving listed companies’ management to establish a tone at the top that focuses on the financial reporting process and sufficient arrangement of relevant resources. For example, attaching the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of company management to financial reporting quality and investing in resources related to accounting functions, including appropriate human resources, accounting systems, internal control systems, and relevant tools, to facilitate the company in preparing high-quality financial reports;
- Organizing an appropriate internal control system, quality internal audit unit, along with monitoring the efficiency and effectiveness of risk management within the company. This is to help prevent any deficiencies and mitigate the risk of issuing incorrect financial statements;
- Selecting auditors with quality and expertise by assessing audit quality aspect rather than pricing as well as setting appropriate audit fees to ensure that the auditors would be able to allocate sufficient resources and working hours, contributing to a quality audit;
- Supporting and working closely with the auditors through discussions and two-way communications together with adequately dedicating time to confer with auditors.
The seminar materials are available at https://www.sec.or.th/TH/Pages/MarketData/seminar-documents.aspx. The SEC will continue to organize seminars to disseminate beneficial knowledge to audit committees and each party involved in the financial reporting ecosystem in the future.