June 2, 2015

External Auditor Assessment Tool: A Reference for Audit Committees Worldwide

The External Auditor Assessment Tool is designed to assist audit committees, or their counterparts, in how to evaluate the external auditor and select or recommend the retention of the audit firm. The Tool includes sample questions to inform the evaluation of the quality of services and sufficiency of resources provided by the auditor; the communication and interaction with the auditor; and auditor independence, objectivity, and professional skepticism. It is available in versions for U.S. audit committees and audit committees worldwide.

Although comprehensive, the Tool avoids a "one size fits all" approach; it is instead a focused, yet scalable resource that encourages proactive efforts by audit committees. For example, the Tool contains 18 sets of sample questions that the audit committee, or its counterpart, could consider asking to gauge the quality of services and sufficiency of resources provided by the auditor; communication and interaction with the auditor; and the auditor’s independence, objectivity, and professional skepticism. 

The Tool also includes a sample form and rating scale for obtaining input from company personnel about the external auditor, and resources for additional reading that can benefit audit committees and others charged with corporate governance.