Enhancing Corporate Governance of Listed Companies
Following the transfer of oversight of corporate governance of listed companies to MAS and the Singapore Exchange (SGX), the focus has been on strengthening implementation of good corporate governance practices among listed companies. As part of this effort, MAS, the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and SGX established the Audit Committee Guidance Committee (ACGC) on 15 January 2008 to develop non-prescriptive practical guidance for audit committee members of SGX-listed companies to enhance their effectiveness. The ACGC completed its work on 30 October 2008 with the submission of its 'Guidebook for Audit Committees in Singapore'.
Chaired by Mr Bobby Chin Yoke Choong, the ACGC developed the Guidebook, incorporating feedback received from industry and stakeholder groups. These included professional associations such as the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore (ICPAS), Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME) and Singapore Institute of Directors (SID). The Guidebook touches on the areas of risk management, fraud, internal controls and the composition of the audit committee. It also uses a number of practical tools, such as frequently-asked-questions, case studies, checklists, red flags and sample forms to assist audit committee members to implement the best practices.
The growing complexities of the current business environment pose great demands on audit committees. Given the important roles that audit committees play in the governance and oversight of companies, in areas such as internal controls, risk management, financial reporting and review of interested-person transactions, the Guidebook provides timely assistance to audit committee members. It is available on the MAS, ACRA and SGX websites and hardcopies have been distributed to all audit committee members of listed companies.