The Audit Committee of the Board of Directors (the “Board”) shall have at least three members and shall be composed entirely of independent members of the Board as required by Section 10A(m) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and the requirements of the Nasdaq National Market (“Nasdaq”). Each member of the Audit Committee shall be financially literate, the chair shall be financially sophisticated, and at least one member shall be a “financial expert” as defined in item 309 of Regulation S-K promulgated under the Securities Act of 1933 and any similar requirements of Nasdaq.
The purpose of the Audit Committee is to oversee the accounting and financial reporting processes of the Company and audits of its financial statements. The management of the Company is responsible for the preparation, presentation, and integrity of the Company’s financial statements. Management is responsible for maintaining appropriate accounting and financial reporting principles, policies, internal controls, and procedures designed to assure compliance with accounting standards and applicable laws and regulations. The independent accountants are responsible for planning and carrying out proper audits and reviews, including reviews of the Company’s quarterly financial statements prior to the filing of each quarterly report on Form 10-Q, and other procedures. In fulfilling their responsibilities hereunder, it is recognized that members of the Audit Committee are not full-time employees of the Company and are not, and do not represent themselves to be, accountants or auditors by profession or experts in the fields of accounting or auditing. As such, it is not the duty or responsibility of the Audit Committee or its members to conduct any type of auditing or accounting review or procedure, and each member of the Audit Committee shall be entitled to rely on (i) the integrity of those persons and organizations within and outside the Company that it receives information from and (ii) the accuracy of the financial and other information provided to the Audit Committee by such persons or organizations, absent actual knowledge to the contrary (which shall be promptly reported to the Board of Directors).
To carry out its purpose, the Audit Committee shall have the following duties and powers:
to appoint and determine the compensation of the outside auditor, oversee the work of any accounting firm employed by the Company (including resolution of any disagreements between management and the outside auditor regarding financial reporting) for the purpose of preparing or issuing an audit report or related work, evaluate the performance of the outside auditor and, if so determined by the Audit Committee, replace the outside auditor; it being acknowledged that the outside auditor is ultimately accountable to the Board and the Audit Committee, as representatives of the shareholders;
to ensure that, as soon as practicable after the adoption of registration guidelines or rules by the Public Company Accounting Public Oversight Board and at all times thereafter, the Company’s outside auditor is a “registered public accounting firm” as defined in Section 2(a)(12) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002;
to receive and evaluate the written disclosures and the letters that the outside auditor is required to deliver to the Audit Committee regarding its independence, discuss with the outside auditor its independence and, if so determined by the Audit Committee as part of its evaluation, discuss with the Board and take appropriate action concerning independence of the outside auditor;
to meet with management and the outside auditor to discuss the annual financial statements and the report of the outside auditor thereon, and to discuss significant issues encountered in the course of the audit work, including: restrictions on the scope of activities; access to required information; the adequacy of internal financial controls; the adequacy of the disclosure of off-balance sheet transactions, arrangements, obligations, and relationships in reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”); and the appropriateness of the presentation of any pro forma financial information included in any report filed with the Commission or in any public disclosure or release;
to meet and discuss with management and the outside auditor the Company’s Form 10-Q (including the matters described in SAS 61 with the outside auditor) prior to filing and preferably prior to the public announcement of quarterly financial results;
to instruct the outside auditor to report to the Audit Committee on all critical accounting policies of the Company, all alternative treatments of financial information within generally accepted accounting principles that have been discussed with management, ramifications of the use of such alternative disclosures and treatments and the treatment preferred by the auditors, and other material written communications between the auditors and management, such as any management letter or schedule of unadjusted differences;
following such review and discussions, if so determined by the Audit Committee, to recommend to the Board that the annual financial statements be included in the Company’s annual report;
to meet at least once each year in separate executive sessions with management and the outside auditor to discuss matters that any of them or the Audit Committee believes could significantly affect the financial statements and should be discussed privately;
to conduct or authorize such inquiries into matters within the Audit Committee’s scope of its duties as the Audit Committee deems appropriate;
to establish a procedure for receipt, retention, and treatment of any complaints received by the Company regarding its accounting, internal accounting controls or auditing matters, and for the confidential and anonymous submission by employees of concerns regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters;
to approve, in advance of their performance, all services to be provided to the Company by its outside auditor, provided that the Audit Committee shall not approve any non-audit services proscribed by Section 10A(g) of the Exchange Act in the absence of an applicable exemption; and provided further that the Audit Committee may delegate to a designated member or members the authority to approve such services so long as any such approvals are disclosed to the Audit Committee at its next scheduled meeting;
to review and approve all related-party transactions; and
to provide minutes of its meetings and reports of its activities to the Board on a regular basis and to make such recommendations with respect to the above and other matters as the Audit Committee may deem necessary or appropriate.
The Audit Committee shall have a chair, who shall be elected by the Board, shall meet on a regular basis at least quarterly, and shall hold special meetings as circumstances require. The Audit Committee shall act by majority vote of its members.
The Audit Committee shall meet regularly with the financial officers of the Company, with the outside auditors, with the internal auditors, if any, and with such other officers as it deems appropriate.
The Audit Committee shall have the resources and authority appropriate to carry out its duties, including the authority to engage independent counsel and other advisors and to cause the officers of the Company to provide such funding as it determines is appropriate for payment of compensation to the outside auditor, independent counsel, and any other advisors employed by the Audit Committee.
The Audit Committee shall prepare a report for inclusion in the Company’s annual proxy statement in accordance with applicable requirements of the Commission.
The Audit committee shall, at least annually, evaluate its performance, review and reassess this Charter, and recommend any changes to the Board.