Section 177 of The Companies Act, 2013
18. (1) Every listed entity shall constitute a qualified and independent audit committee in accordance with the terms of reference, subject to the following:
(a) The audit committee shall have minimum three directors as members.
(c)All members of audit committee shall be financially literate and at least one member shall have accounting or related financial management expertise.
Explanation (1).-For the purpose of this regulation, “financially literate” shall mean the ability to read and understand basic financial statements i.e. balance sheet, profit and loss account, and statement of cash flows.
Explanation (2).-For the purpose of this regulation , a member shall be considered to have accounting or related financial management expertise if he or she possesses experience in finance or accounting, or requisite professional certification in accounting, or any other comparable experience or background which results in the individual’s financial sophistication, including being or having been a chief executive officer, chief financial officer or other senior officer with financial oversight responsibilities.
(d) The chairperson of the audit committee shall be an independent director and he shall be present at Annual general meeting to answer shareholder queries.
(e)The Company Secretary shall act as the secretary to the audit committee.
(f) The audit committee at its discretion shall invite the finance director or head of the finance function, head of internal audit and a representative of the statutory auditor and any other such executives to be present at the meetings of the committee:
Provided that occasionally the audit committee may meet without the presence of any executives of the listed entity.
(2) The listed entity shall conduct the meetings of the audit committee in the following manner:
(a)The audit committee shall meet at least four times in a year and not more than one hundred and twenty days shall elapse between two meetings.
(b) The quorum for audit committee meeting shall either be two members or one third of the members of the audit committee, whichever is greater, with at least two independent directors.
(c)The audit committee shall have powers to investigate any activity within its terms of reference, seek information from any employee, obtain outside legal or other professional advice and secure attendance of outsiders with relevant expertise, if it considers necessary.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) (Fourth Amendment) Regulations, 2019 dated 29.07.2019
SEBI Circular on Resignation of statutory auditors from listed entities and their material subsidiaries dated 18.10.2019
LODR – SCHEDULE II Part C
PART C: ROLE OF THE AUDIT COMMITTEE AND REVIEW OF INFORMATION BY AUDIT COMMITTEE
[See Regulation 18(3)]
A. The role of the audit committee shall include the following:
(1) oversight of the listed entity’s financial reporting process and the disclosure of its financial information to ensure that the financial statement is correct, sufficient and credible;
(3) approval of payment to statutory auditors for any other services rendered by the statutory auditors;
(4) reviewing, with the management, the annual financial statements and auditor’s report thereon before submission to the board for approval, with particular reference to:
a. matters required to be included in the director’s responsibility statement to be included in the board’s report in terms of clause (c) of sub-section (3) of Section 134 of the Companies Act, 2013;
b. changes, if any, in accounting policies and practices and reasons for the same;
c. major accounting entries involving estimates based on the exercise of judgment by management;
d. significant adjustments made in the financial statements arising out of audit findings;
e. compliance with listing and other legal requirements relating to financial statements;
f. disclosure of any related party transactions;
g. modified opinion(s) in the draft audit report;
(5) reviewing, with the management, the quarterly financial statements before submission to the board for approval;
(6) reviewing, with the management, the statement of uses / application of funds raised through an issue (public issue, rights issue, preferential issue, etc.), the statement of funds utilized for purposes other than those stated in the offer document / prospectus / notice and the report submitted by the monitoring agency monitoring the utilisation of proceeds of a public or rights issue, and making appropriate recommendations to the board to take up steps in this matter;
(7) reviewing and monitoring the auditor’s independence and performance, and effectiveness of audit process;
(8) approval or any subsequent modification of transactions of the listed entity with related parties;
(9) scrutiny of inter-corporate loans and investments
(10) valuation of undertakings or assets of the listed entity, wherever it is necessary;
(11) evaluation of internal financial controls and risk management systems;
(12) reviewing, with the management, performance of statutory and internal auditors, adequacy of the internal control systems;
(13) reviewing the adequacy of internal audit function, if any, including the structure of the internal audit department, staffing and seniority of the official heading the department, reporting structure coverage and frequency of internal audit;
(14) discussion with internal auditors of any significant findings and follow up there on;
(15) reviewing the findings of any internal investigations by the internal auditors into matters where there is suspected fraud or irregularity or a failure of internal control systems of a material nature and reporting the matter to the board;
(16) discussion with statutory auditors before the audit commences, about the nature and scope of audit as well as post-audit discussion to ascertain any area of concern;
(17) to look into the reasons for substantial defaults in the payment to the depositors, debenture holders, shareholders (in case of non-payment of declared dividends) and creditors;
(18) to review the functioning of the whistle blower mechanism;
(19) approval of appointment of chief financial officer after assessing the qualifications, experience and background, etc. of the candidate;
(20) Carrying out any other function as is mentioned in the terms of reference of the audit committee.
reviewing the utilization of loans and/ or advances from/investment by the holding company in the subsidiary exceeding rupees 100 crore or 10% of the asset size of the subsidiary, whichever is lower including existing loans / advances / investments existing as on the date of coming into force of this provision.
B. The audit committee shall mandatorily review the following information:
(1) management discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations;
(2) statement of significant related party transactions (as defined by the audit committee), submitted by management;
(3) management letters / letters of internal control weaknesses issued by the statutory auditors;
(4) internal audit reports relating to internal control weaknesses; and
(5) the appointment, removal and terms of remuneration of the chief internal auditor shall be subject to review by the audit committee.
(6) statement of deviations:
(a) quarterly statement of deviation(s) including report of monitoring agency, if applicable, submitted to stock exchange(s) in terms of Regulation 32(1).
(b) annual statement of funds utilized for purposes other than those stated in the offer document/prospectus/notice in terms of Regulation 32(7).