Audit Committee Terms of Reference

2019

Approved by An Taisce Board 27th November

Authority

  • An Taisce Audit Committee (ATAC) was established to assist the Board of Directors (Board) in fulfilling its audit responsibilities, by monitoring and reviewing An Taisce’s financial management and risk management systems and controls.
  • ATAC is directly responsible to the Board.
  • ATAC does not replace or replicate established management responsibilities and delegations, the responsibilities of other executive management groups within An Taisce, or the reporting lines and responsibilities of either internal audit or external audit functions.
  • ATAC is only authorised to make recommendations to the Board and does not have the power to make decisions for the organisation in its own right.
  • ATAC has the power to conduct or authorise investigations into any matters within its scope or as requested by the Board.
  • ATAC is entitled to unrestricted access to management, employees,representatives, committees, records and other information it considers relevant to its function.
  • ATAC does not have it’s own budget or bank account.
  • ATAC is empowered to retain independent advice, advisors or other professionals to assist in discharging its responsibilities.
  • ATAC has the authority to conduct its own business without involving An Taisce’s Board.
  • An Taisce will pay the reasonable costs incurred by the Committee in doing so, as well as all administrative costs incurred in carrying out its duties. However,
  • ATAC must not bind An Taisce to any obligations, financial or operational, without prior approval by the Board.

Membership

  • The Board shall appoint an Audit Committee.
  • The committee shall consist of not less than three members. The membership can be seen on the Who We Are page.
  • A quorum shall be two members.
  • The chair of the committee shall be the Hon. Treasurer if eligible or another member elected by the committee.
  • At least one member of the committee should have recent and relevant financial experience.
  • The membership can be seen on the Who We Are page.

Meetings

  • No one other than audit committee members shall be automatically entitled to attend meetings.
  • The committee may invite other people at its discretion.
  • There should be not less than three meetings annually, scheduled to coincide with key dates in the financial reporting and audit cycle.
  • There should be one meeting annually (or part thereof) where the committee meets the external auditor without other attendees. This is likely to follow the annual audit.

Duties

Financial Reporting

  • To hold the Honorary Treasurer to account.
  • To review and challenge the actions and judgements of executive management in relation to financial performance. Particular attention should be paid to:
  • The annual budgeting process
  • Review of management accounts and assessment of actual outturn versus budget
  • Unusual transactions or those requiring a significant element of uncertainty or judgement
  • Compliance with accounting standards and policies ­
  • The going concern concept

Internal Controls and Risk Management

  • To ensure that proper books of account are maintained and that monthly management accounts are prepared, reviewed and made available to the board
  • To ensure that An Taisce employs adequate bookkeeping staff or engage external bookkeepers
  • To monitor the integrity of the organisation’s internal financial controls
  • Given the absence of an internal audit function, to decide whether independent reviews of any aspects of the organisation’s system of financial controls should be commissioned.

External Audit

  • To oversee the organisation’s relationship with its external auditors including recommendations on their appointment, removal, terms of engagement and remuneration;
  • To meet with the external auditors before the annual audit commences to discuss and agree the nature and scope of the audit; and
  • To meet with the external auditors after the completion of the audit to review findings and the content of the management letter.

And any other activities as requested by the Board.