The relationship between the audit committee and the external auditor

April 2023

An effective working relationship with the external auditor is vital to an audit committee’s oversight of financial reporting. On March 1, 2023, Tapestry Networks convened members of the Audit Committee Leadership Network (ACLN) to discuss good practices used by audit committees when interacting with their external auditors. Members generally described their working relationship with the external auditor as excellent or very good, but they continue to look for ways to further enhance communication and processes.

Members were joined by EY leaders Julie Boland, Americas Area Managing Partner and US Chair and Managing Partner; Linda Hill, Global Client Service Partner; John King, Americas Vice Chair—Assurance; Patrick Niemann, Americas Audit Committee Forum Leader; and Norm Prestage, Global Client Service Partner, to provide insights from the external auditor’s perspective.

This ViewPoints highlights the following good practices identified as key for working effectively with the external auditor:

  • Cultivate trust and open communication
  • Use assessments of the external auditor to enhance the relationship
  • Consider the external auditor’s role in ESG reporting