Contact Us: 617.694.4600


  • Improve Senior Management Oversight, Control, and Planning
  • Improve Board Governance Process
  • Improve Financial Statement Reporting
  • Improve Budget Process
  • Streamline Accounting Processes
  • Improve Accounting Policies, Procedures, and Controls
  • Improve Efficient Monthly Closing Procedures
  • Prepare Policies and Procedures Manuals
  • Assist In Audit Preparation
  • Remediate Audit Deficiencies
  • Accounting System Conversion
  • Simplify Grant Accounting Procedures
  • Endowment Accounting Procedures

Five Questions that Every Audit Committee Should Ask

jmc portrait thumb smallerThe Audit Committee’s ability to evaluate accounting operations can be especially difficult because of the dependent relationships between Senior Management, the Audit Committee, and the Independent External Auditors (including their desire to retain the client).

In advising our clients’ Boards of Directors, we recommend that Audit Committees ask their Auditors the following five questions and make Senior Management and the Auditors aware of their intention to do so. Providing advance notice gives all parties an opportunity to alleviate problems, improve the organization, and minimize less than complimentary answers.

1. How would you rate the accounting/finance team compared to the organization’s needs? What changes would you recommend?

- Please rate senior staff (i.e., CFO, Controller, and Accounting Manager).

- Please rate general accounting staff.

- Has personnel turnover been excessive?

- Are additional staff needed?

2. How would you rate the general ledger software package and modules compared to the organization’s needs? What changes would you recommend?

- Is the software package being used in a less than optimal manner?

- Are additional modules available which would improve efficiency and accuracy in financial statement preparation?

- Is the accounting staff sufficiently well trained in the use of the software?

- Has the organization updated the software to the most current version available?

3. Are the accounting system and personnel capable of producing accurate, timely monthly and annual financial statements efficiently and with a minimum of “heroic” effort by personnel?

- Is the participation of the Independent auditors in preparing financial statements required beyond the most minimal levels?

4. Is the system of internal control too reliant on management review? What changes would you recommend?

5. Was the audit started and carried out in a timely fashion, or were starting dates delayed and delivery dates missed or deferred?

Comments are closed.