The audit committee shall be composed of directors who are independent of the management of the corporation and are free of any relationship that, in the opinion of the board of directors, would interfere with their exercise of independent judgment as a committee member.
Statement of Policy
The audit committee shall provide assistance to the corporate directors in fulfilling their responsibility to the shareholders, potential shareholders, and investment community relating to corporate accounting, reporting practices of the corporation, and the quality and integrity of the financial reports of the corporation. In so doing, it is the responsibility of the audit committee to maintain free and open means of communication between the directors, the independent auditors the internal auditors (if any), and the financial management of the corporation.
In carrying out its responsibilities, the audit committee believes its policies and procedures should remain flexible, in order to best react to changing conditions and to ensure to the directors and shareholders that the corporate accounting and reporting practices of the corporation are in accordance with all requirements and are of the highest quality.
In carrying out these responsibilities, the audit committee will:
Appoint the firm of certified public accountants to be employed by the Company as its independent auditors to audit the consolidated financial statements of the corporation for the ensuing year, and be directly responsible for the compensation and oversight of the work of the independent auditors. The independent auditors shall report directly to the Audit Committee.
Preapprove all auditing services and permitted non-audit services (including the fees and terms thereof) to be performed for the corporation by its independent auditors, subject to the di minimus exceptions for non-audit services described in the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which are approved by the Audit Committee prior to the completion of the audit. The Audit committee may form and delegate authority to its Chairman or subcommittees of one or more members when appropriate, including the authority to grant preapprovals of audit and permitted non-audit services, provided that the decisions of the Chairman or such subcommittee to grant preapprovals shall be presented to the full Audit Committee at its next scheduled meeting.
Meet with the independent auditors and financial management of the corporation to review the scope of the proposed audit for the current year and the audit procedures to be utilized, and at the conclusion thereof, review such audit, including any comments or recommendations of the independent auditors.
Review with the independent auditors, the company’s internal auditor (if any), and financial and accounting personnel, the adequacy and effectiveness of the accounting and financial controls of the corporation, and elicit any recommendations for the improvement of such internal control procedures or particular areas where new or more detailed controls or procedures are desirable. Particular emphasis should be given to the adequacy of such internal controls to expose any payments, transactions, or procedures that might be deemed illegal or otherwise improper.
Review with management and the independent auditors, upon completion of their audit, financial results for the year, as reported in the Company’s financial statements, supplemental disclosures to the Securities and Exchange Commission or other disclosures.
Review the financial statements contained in the annual report to shareholders with management and the independent auditors to determine that the independent auditors are satisfied with the disclosure and content of the financial statements to be presented to the shareholders. Any changes in accounting principles should be reviewed.
Provide sufficient opportunity for the independent auditors to meet with the members of the audit committee without members of management present. Among the items to be discussed in these meetings are the independent auditors’ evaluation of the corporation’s financial, accounting, and auditing personnel, and the cooperation that the independent auditors received during the course of the audit.
Review the interim financial statements with management and the independent auditors prior to the filing of the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. Also, the Audit Committee shall discuss the results of the quarterly review and other matters required to be communicated to the audit committee by the independent auditors under generally accepted auditing standards.
Review and report to the Board the propriety and ethical implications of any transactions, as reported or disclosed to the Committee by the independent auditors, employees, officers, members of the Board or otherwise, between (a) the Company and (b) any employee, officer or member of the Board of the Company or any affiliates of the foregoing.
Review accounting and financial human resources and succession planning within the company.
Submit, or cause to be submitted, the minutes of all meetings of the audit committee to, or discuss the matters discussed at each committee meeting with, the board of directors.
Investigate any matter brought to its attention within the scope of its duties, with the power to retain outside counsel for this purpose if, in its judgment, doing so is appropriate.
Establish written procedures for the confidential receipt, retention and consideration of evidence of a material violation of an applicable United States federal or state securities law, a material breach of fiduciary duty arising under United States federal or state law, or a similar material violation of any United States federal or state law by the Corporation or by any officer, director, employee or agent of the Corporation (each, a "Material Violation") that is reported to the Committee by the Corporation's chief legal officer (or the equivalent thereof) or other legal advisors.
To the extent required by any regulatory body, inform the Corporation's chief legal officer and chief executive officer (or the equivalents thereof) of any report of evidence of a Material Violation that is reported to the Committee by the Corporation's chief legal officer (or the equivalent thereof) or other legal advisor.
Determine whether an investigation is necessary regarding any report of evidence of a Material Violation that is reported to the Committee by the Corporation's chief legal officer (or the equivalent thereof) or other legal advisors.
If the Committee determines an investigation is necessary or appropriate: (i) notify the full Board; (ii) initiate an investigation, which may be conducted either by the chief legal officer (or the equivalent thereof) or by outside attorneys; and (iii) retain such additional expert personnel as the Committee deems necessary. At the conclusion of any such investigation: (i) recommend, by majority vote, that the Corporation implement an appropriate response to evidence of a Material Violation; and (ii) inform the chief legal officer and the chief executive officer (or the equivalents thereof) and the Board of the results of any such investigation and the appropriate remedial measures to be adopted.
Acting by majority vote, take all other appropriate actions to respond to evidence of a Material Violation that is reported to the Committee by the Corporation's chief legal officer (or the equivalent thereof) or other legal advisors.