ACCA P7考试：THE CONTROL ENVIRONMENT OF A COMPANY （三）
3 Participation by those charged with governance
The directors of a limited liability/limited company are charged with the company’s governance. As such, they are responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of the company and its obligations related to its accountability – for example, to governments, shareholders and to society in general. In particular, in most jurisdictions the company’s directors are responsible for the preparation of its financial statements. Given the influence that the actions of directors have on a company’s internal control, the extent of their day-to-day active involvement in the company’s operations has a pervasive effect on the internal control of the company.
The extent to which directors do get involved will, to some extent, depend on legislation or codes of practice setting out guidance for best practice in given jurisdictions. For example, the UK Corporate Governance Code (with which companies listed on the London Stock Exchange should comply) sets out standards of good practice, including those pertaining to board leadership and effectiveness. Notwithstanding legislation and codes of practice, the extent of each director’s participation is largely influenced by the nature of their professional discipline and their individual perspective about how they should carry out their respective roles.
Some may see themselves as micromanagers, while others will trust subordinates to carry out defined duties with minimal interference. Frequently, directors will be very experienced and adopt an arms-length approach to getting involved in operational tasks. However, they may insist on monitoring activity by way of receipt of formal narrative reports. Other directors may adopt a more casual (but equally thorough!) ‘working alongside subordinates’ approach as a method of monitoring activities.
All of the variables mentioned above with regard to director involvement, should be important considerations of an auditor as part of the process of ascertaining the extent of internal control in the company and in assessing its effectiveness.