Audit Committee Charter
The purpose of the Audit Committee ("Committee") is to oversee the processes of accounting and financial reporting of Nature's Sunshine Products, Inc. (the "Company") and the audits and financial statements of the Company.
The Committee shall consist of at least three directors. Each member of the Committee shall meet the independence and experience requirements of the Nasdaq Stock Market, Section 10A(m)(3) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act") and the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), as affirmatively determined by the Company's Board of Directors ("Board"). In addition, at least one member of the Committee shall be an "audit committee financial expert" as that term is defined by the SEC. The Board may, at any time and in its complete discretion, replace a Committee member.
The Committee shall meet as often as it determines, but not less frequently than quarterly. The Committee shall maintain minutes and other relevant documentation of all its meetings.
Committee Authority and Responsibilities
The Committee shall directly appoint, subject to shareholder ratification, retain, and compensate the Company's independent auditors. The Committee has the sole authority to approve all audit engagement fees and terms, as well as all significant non-audit engagements with the independent auditors. The Committee shall be directly responsible for overseeing the work of the independent auditors (including resolution of disagreements between management and the independent auditors regarding financial reporting) for the purpose of preparing or issuing an audit report or related work, and the independent auditors shall report directly to the Committee.
The Committee shall preapprove all auditing and non-auditing services of the independent auditors, subject to de minimus exceptions for other than audit, review, or attest services that are approved by the Committee prior to completion of the audit. Alternatively, the engagement of the independent auditors may be entered into pursuant to pre-approved policies and procedures established by the Committee, provided that the policies and procedures are detailed as to the particular services and the Committee is informed of each service.
The Committee shall have the authority to engage, without Board approval, independent legal, accounting, and other advisors as it deems necessary to carry out its duties. The Company shall provide appropriate funding, as determined by the Committee, to compensate the independent auditors, outside legal counsel, or any other advisors employed by the Committee,
and to pay ordinary Committee administrative expenses that are necessary and appropriate in carrying out its duties.
The Committee shall review and reassess the adequacy of this Charter on an annual basis and submit proposed changes to the Board for approval. The Committee has the powers and responsibilities delineated in this Charter. It is not, however, the Committee's responsibility to prepare and certify the Company's financial statements, to guaranty the independent auditors' report, or to guaranty other disclosures by the Company. These are the fundamental responsibilities of management and the independent auditors. Committee members are not full-time Company employees and are not performing the functions of auditors or accountants.
Oversight of the Company's Auditors
The Committee shall assure the regular rotation of the lead audit partner as required by Section 10A(j) of the Exchange Act, and consider whether, to assure continuing auditor independence, there should be regular rotation of the independent auditing firm itself.
The Committee shall set clear hiring policies for employees or former employees of the independent auditing firm that are consistent with Section 10A(l) of the Exchange Act.
The Committee shall ensure receipt of a written report from the independent auditors at least annually regarding (a) the independent auditors' internal quality-control procedures, (b) any material issues raised by the most recent internal quality-control review, or peer review, of the firm, by any inquiry or investigation by governmental or professional authorities within the preceding five years respecting one or more independent audits carried out by the firm, and any steps taken to deal with any such issues, and (c) to assess the auditors' independence, all relationships between the independent auditors and the Company, including each non-audit service provided to the Company and at least the matters set forth in Independent Standards Board No. 1.
Disclosure and Financial Statements
The Committee shall obtain, review and discuss reports from the independent auditors regarding: (1) all critical accounting policies and practices to be used; (2) all alternative treatments of financial information within generally accepted accounting principles that have been discussed with management officials of the Company, ramifications of the use of these alternative disclosures and treatments, and the treatment preferred by the independent auditors and the reasons for favoring that treatment; and (3) other material written communications between the independent auditors and Company management, such as any management letter or schedule of unadjusted differences.
The Committee shall discuss with the independent auditors and then disclose the matters required to be discussed and disclosed by SAS 61, including any difficulties the independent auditors encountered in the course of the audit work, any restrictions on the scope of the independent auditors' activities or on access to requested information, and any significant disagreements with management.
The Committee shall prepare the report required by the SEC to be included in the Company's annual proxy statement.
The Committee shall review the CEO and CFO's disclosure and certifications under Sections 302 and 906 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and shall review the adequacy and effectiveness of the Company's internal control system and procedures.
Compliance and Regulatory Oversight Responsibilities
The Committee shall review and approve all "related party transactions", as that term is defined in Item 404 of Regulation S-K.
The Committee shall establish procedures for the receipt, retention, and treatment of complaints received by the Company from its employees regarding accounting, internal accounting controls, and auditing matters, and the confidential, anonymous submission by employees of concerns regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters.
The Committee shall ascertain annually from the independent auditors whether the Company has issues under Section 10A(b) of the Exchange Act.
The Committee shall review with management and the independent auditors any correspondence with regulators and any published reports that raise material issues regarding the Company's accounting policies.