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NACD Announces Release of Industry-Backed Auditor Evaluation

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) today announced an evaluation process backed by industry leaders to support audit committees in strengthening external auditor independence, objectivity, and skepticism. The tool is the result of a collaborative effort of governance leaders working to strengthen audit committee performance and transparency.

The organizations participating in this effort share a commitment to enhancing the effectiveness of audit committees through education and supporting resources. Members of the coalition working with NACD include: the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ); the Association of Audit Committee Members Inc. (AACMI); Corporate Board Member/NYSE Euronext; the Independent Directors Council (IDC); the Mutual Fund Directors Forum (MFDF); and Tapestry Networks.

The resulting Audit Committee Annual Evaluation of the External Auditor is the first resource developed by the ongoing collaboration and will assist audit committees in performing the annual evaluation of the auditor. This evaluation tool is scalable and specifically includes an examination of the auditor's independence, objectivity, and professional skepticism. It contains sample questions to gauge the quality of services provided, communications, and interaction. It also provides a sample form for obtaining input from company personnel.

"The corporate director community shares the view that external auditor independence, objectivity, and skepticism are critical," said Ken Daly, president and CEO of NACD. "Our members are overwhelmingly committed to these objectives and have practices in place to ensure they are achieved. When used in conjunction with the PCAOB's recently released Auditing Standard No. 16 Communications With Audit Committees, the auditor evaluation tool provides a formidable instrument for ensuring audit firm independence."

Daly is scheduled to present NACD's efforts on ensuring auditor independence at the PCAOB's public roundtable on Oct. 18 in Houston.

NACD also promotes the sharing of leading audit committee practices through director education. Earlier this month, NACD released the first of a five-part webinar series on skepticism. Sponsored by NACD as part of an Anti-Fraud Collaboration with the CAQ, Financial Executives International, and The Institute of Internal Auditors, the series is designed to help directors, auditors, financial executives, and internal auditors deter and detect financial reporting fraud.

The Audit Committee Annual Evaluation of the External Auditor tool can be accessed at www.NACDonline.org/AuditorEval.

About NACD

The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) is the only membership organization focused exclusively on advancing exemplary board leadership. Based on 35 years of experience, NACD identifies, interprets, and provides insights and information that corporate board members rely upon to make sound strategic decisions, confidently confront complex business challenges, and enhance shareowner value. With more than 13,000 corporate director members, NACD provides world-class director education, director training, and proprietary research about leading boardroom and corporate governance practices to promote director professionalism and bolster investor confidence. Furthermore, to create more effective and efficient corporate boards, NACD provides independent board evaluations and custom-tailored in-boardroom education and training programs, as well as director-led conferences, forums, and peer-exchange learning opportunities to share ideas about current and emerging issues. Fostering collaboration among directors and governance stakeholders, NACD is shaping the future of board leadership. To learn more about NACD, visit www.NACDonline.org. To join, please contact Kelly Dodd at kkdodd@nacdonline.org or 202-380-1891.

CONTACT: Kelly Dodd kkdodd@nacdonline.org 202-380-1891Source:National Association of Corporate Directors