This excerpt taken from the EQR DEF 14A filed Apr 17, 2006.
Authority and Responsibilities
The Committee shall have the sole authority to appoint or replace the independent auditors. The Committee shall be directly responsible for the compensation, retention, evaluation and oversight of the work of the independent auditors (including resolution of disagreements between management and the independent auditors regarding financial reporting) for the purpose of preparing or issuing an audit report or performing other audit, review or attest services for the Company. The independent auditors shall report directly to the Committee.
The Committee shall pre-approve all services (audit services and permitted non-audit services), including the fees and terms thereof, to be performed for the Company by its independent auditors, or adopt pre-approval policies and procedures as to particular services to be performed, subject in each such case to the de minimus exceptions for non-audit services described in the Exchange Act which are approved by the Committee prior to the completion of the audit. The Committee may form and delegate authority to subcommittees consisting of one or more members when appropriate, including the authority to grant pre-approvals of audit and permitted non-audit services, provided that the decision of such subcommittee to grant pre-approvals shall be presented to the full Committee at its next scheduled meeting.
The Committee shall have authority, to the extent it deems necessary or appropriate, to retain independent legal, accounting or other advisors to advise the Committee as it deems necessary to carry out its duties. The Company shall provide for appropriate funding, as determined by the Committee, for payment of professional services of any advisors employed by the Committee and for payment of compensation to the independent auditors for the purpose of rendering or issuing an audit report or performing other audit, review or attest services for the Company, and for ordinary administrative expenses of the Committee that are necessary or appropriate in carrying out its duties.
The Committee shall make regular reports to the Board. The Committee shall review and reassess the adequacy of this Charter annually and recommend any proposed changes to the Board for approval. The Committee shall annually review the Committees own performance.
In carrying out its responsibilities, the Committee believes that its agendas, reviews and procedures should be flexible in order to adapt to changing conditions and to ensure that the Companys corporate accounting and reporting practices are in accordance with requirements and of high quality. In performing its functions, the Committee shall undertake those tasks and responsibilities that, in its judgment, would most effectively contribute to and implement the purposes of the Committee. The following functions are some of the common recurring activities of the Committee in carrying out its oversight responsibility.