Audit and Risk Committee best practice

The unique role of Audit and Risk Committees

Audit and Risk committees are a unique governance construct.

Fulfilling everything in the committee’s terms of reference, often in less than 20 hours of meeting time each year is an art. Agendas can get very busy, resulting in important things being skimmed or missed, or crammed in.

Contemporary practice is constantly evolving. Leading effectively is no longer a matter of chairing meetings based on historical precedent. Today’s committees require much more.

How we help

Organisations bring us in when they want to: 

  • Refine the way the committee works – to cover the requirements in a more streamlined, thorough and collegiate way;
  • Optimise the way that management and assurance functions and the committee support each other;
  • Better understand the capability and effectiveness of their audit and risk functions and what they can reasonably expect of those functions and how to put them into practice;
  • Develop a plan or sponsor an intervention to drive better results;
  • Mentor their heads of governance, risk and assurance to master their craft;
  • Help the Chair and members to understand and master their roles;
  • Lead more effectively and know that their obligations are fulfilled; and
  • Help achieve informed risk taking and higher ambition.

Our unique position in the market

Todd Davies has spent the last 20 years understanding, mastering and teaching the art of good committee practice.

He brings the unique combination of skills, experiences and perspectives from being:

  • seasoned advisor on governance matters and to boards for over 20 years including as a long serving member of the ASX Corporate Governance Council that sets the blueprint for all Australian listed companies;
  • a former head of audit and risk for an ASX 50 company and mentored by some of the region’s most respected Chairs and directors;
  • Transformative member and chair of Audit and Risk Committees across public health, clinical services, emergency management, transport, planning, infrastructure and education – currently responsible for more than $20b in annual spend;
  • a 20 year commitment to understanding best practice in ARC operation and putting it into practice.

Starting point – Audit and Risk Committee pack reviews

In 2019 we launched a service to help organisations review their Audit & Risk Committee packs for maximum effectiveness.  This is our most compressed offer.

Over two days we perform a full review of the entire ARC papers and then lead a focused discussion on what’s working, what’s not and why and help secretariats, management and the committee chairs to prioritise effort and focus from quick wins through to more enduring change.

It’s been incredibly well-received. Here’s what some of our clients had to say.

“It was useful to get above the individual papers and get a perspective on the full year’s program in a holistic way. Possibly the best bit was being able to workshop ideas and solutions – to quickly explore the ones that made sense and get advice on how to make them work in practice. We now have energy behind making the changes.” Company Secretary & Chief Risk Officer, ASX 100

“I was really happy with what I got. It was great to have a mature discussion about my work with someone of Todd’s experience and intelligence.” NPS of 9. Head of Governance – Specialised government agency.

If you lead or support an Audit & Risk Committee and would like to take your committee work and dynamic, please book an obligation free discussion or contact us to find out more.

Committee succession

To understand whether Todd might fit on your board / committee please click here.

If you are looking for committee members or for effective succession planning for your committee we can help with that too. Please get in touch to find out how we can help.

While you’re here

While you’re here, four quick resources to help you lead with greater confidence and effectiveness.

  • The Davies Report is our free newsletter quarterly newsletter, written from the perspective of the Audit & Risk Committee Chair. It is critically acclaimed by experienced chairs for its fresh thinking and insights. Please feel free to subscribe using the prompts below.
  • If you chair or member an audit or risk committee and want to work through how to approach an issue or lead a situation we can assist through structured discussions. Please contact us to book a confidential, obligation-free discussion to find out more. Our first session with chairs is free for charge as part of our commitment to this important community,
  • If you are an independent member of an audit, risk or compliance committee, and would like to develop a broader support network and stay up to date, please join the Audit and Risk Committee community of practice on LinkedIn which we have set up specifically for this purpose.  (Please note you must be a member of an audit, risk or compliance committee to join). 
  • We now do focused 1:1 coaching and support for committee members. Whether you are new, mastering your craft or would just like someone to help you work through current challenges, this is what we do. Please get in touch to find out more.