Potential discussion topics
Potential discussion topics

Potential discussion topics

​One-on-one discussions with key business leaders can provide a better understanding of the company, its culture, strategy, risks and opportunities.


  • The company’s earnings trends
  • Key financial reporting risks—the pressures and vulnerabilities in the financial reporting process
  • Adequacy of control environment, including fraud controls
  • Critical accounting estimates
  • Level of transparency in the company’s financial disclosures
  • Role of management’s disclosure committee
  • Strengths and weaknesses in compliance programs, including FCPA

CRO (or equivalent role)

  • How the CRO gains a view of risk across the enterprise and how key risks are aggregated
  • Aspect(s) of risk management posing the greatest challenge to the company
  • CRO’s view of the company’s risk awareness, “appetite,” and “tolerance”
  • How the CRO views the tone and culture of senior management
  • How the company’s risks compare to others in the industry
  • Strengths and weaknesses in the board’s risk oversight processes


  • How the company manages data security, compliance, cyber risk, major IT investments, and other “defensive” IT risks
  • How the company leverages IT “offensively” for strategic advantage
  • Nature and frequency of CIO communications with board/AC
  • Company’s policies/practices for data governance, use of social media, and adoption of emerging technologies

AC chair

  • Expectations and role of the new AC member
  • Current composition of the AC (skills, backgrounds, experience, and expertise)
  • Most difficult/challenging financial statement issues
  • Scope of the AC’s oversight responsibilities
  • Strength of the AC’s oversight processes
  • Results of the AC’s last two self-assessments

Lead director

  • How the board interacts with the CEO and other officers, and how important decisions are made (formal and informal processes)
  • Toughest issues facing the board/committees
  • Board culture, including openness and candor of communications and debate among management and the board, and among directors


  • Any significant issues or concerns identified by other business leaders
  • On what issues does the CEO expect to spend the most time over the next few months?
  • How can the skills and background of the new AC member—and board members, generally—be best leveraged for the benefit of the board and the company?

Explore all topics in the Audit Committee Member Onboarding report

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