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Audit committees finding it increasingly harder to oversee major risks: survey

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GLOBAL uncertainty, regulatory change, and operational risk pose the greatest challenges for companies in Asean, according to a new KPMG survey of over 1,500 audit committee (AC) members in 36 countries.

GLOBAL uncertainty, regulatory change, and operational risk pose the greatest challenges for companies in Asean, according to a new KPMG survey of over 1,500 audit committee (AC) members in 36 countries.

Some 40 per cent of AC members in Asean surveyed think that it is increasingly difficult to oversee the major risks on the committee's agenda in addition to its core oversight responsibilities.

These responsibilities have expanded beyond the traditional remit of financial reporting to include oversight of the risk management process and other areas of risk such as compliance, anti-bribery and corruption, and operational risks. This has resulted in more time needed for ACs to fulfil their responsibilities, especially in Singapore.

"The pressures on audit committees have clearly intensified. At the same time, the audit committee can't do it all," said Irving Low, head of risk consulting at KPMG in Singapore.

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The top three issues respondents cited as requiring "significantly more" attention this year include adequacy and effectiveness of controls around both financial reporting and operational risks, and oversight of the risk process.

Among the AC members surveyed, 106 were from Asean, including 32 from Singapore.

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