The 2015 general meeting season in the Netherlands is about to start and there has been a lot of focus on the role of auditors at general meetings. Shareholders, for one, want more insight into the auditing process. The VEB, an organisation representing investors, recently stated that the auditor is the right person to scrutinise a company's management, given his/her statutory auditing tasks, knowledge and experience. And in December 2014, the professional organisation for accountants NBA introduced a new, more extensive auditor's certificate for public interest organisations, including listed companies. In addition, the corporate governance forum Eumedion sent a letter to audit firms last year setting out focus points for the auditor's statement in the upcoming general meeting season.
To respond to these developments, the professional body for accountants NBA organised a meeting on 11 February 2015 to discuss the role of auditors at general meetings. Given all of these developments, we recommend that directors and auditors of listed companies ensure adequate coordination of their respective roles before the general meeting takes place (in Dutch only).
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