The Audit Committee comprises the four independent Non-Executive Directors. The Chairman Ishbel Macpherson, who was appointed on 1 April 2012, is considered to have recent and relevant financial experience to chair this Committee.
The Audit Committee reviews and evaluates:
- The Annual Report, Interim Report and other formal announcements before submission to the Board
- Accounting policies, financial controls and internal control and risk management systems
- The work and effectiveness of the internal audit function
- Matters brought to its attention both internally and by the external auditors
The committee reports all findings to the Board.
A formal process, established via the Audit Committee, exists by which employees may, in confidence, raise concerns about possible improprieties in financial reporting or other matters. This ensures arrangements are in place for the proportionate and independent investigation of such matter and appropriate follow-up action.
The Committee also keeps under review the relationship with the external auditors, including their terms of engagement, independence, objectivity and effectiveness taking into consideration relevant UK profession and regulatory requirements. The Committee reviews the remuneration received by the external auditors for non-audit work to safeguard the independence of the external auditors, which principally relates to taxation advice. Where necessary, the Committee approves such work. The Committee also retains responsibility for the appointment and removal of the external auditors.