Audit Analytics CEO Mark Cheffers was recently interviewed by Cindy Fornelli, executive director of the Center for Audit Quality, in an episode of the CAQ’s video series “Profession in Focus.” During the interview, Cheffers and Fornelli discussed the second edition of the Audit Committee Transparency Barometer, a joint effort publication put out annually by the CAQ and Audit Analytics.
While discussing the importance of this project and its potential impact on the disclosures of public companies, Cheffers outlined three effects the publication could have, namely:
- Enhancing public trust through transparency;
- Allowing for informed decision-making by regulators and reporting professionals;
- Providing companies with confidence regarding their disclosures.
Perhaps the most intriguing was the third effect. The Barometer provides a standard to which companies can compare themselves, in order to see where they should improve their disclosures or perhaps to see in what areas they are ahead of the curve. Cheffers builds on this idea later in the interview. While there are large differences across years in disclosure rates, Cheffers points out that “it’s interesting where there is little or no movement [in disclosure rates]. That’s where you get the idea of where companies and audit committees are hesitant. They’re . . . waiting for guidance.”
As we enter the height of the 2016 proxy filing season, we are looking forward to preparing this year’s edition of the Barometer, and we are excited to see what new trends emerge. The third edition of the Audit Committee Transparency Barometer is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2016.