EQR » Topics » II. Oversight of the Companys Relationship with the Independent Auditors
This excerpt taken from the EQR DEF 14A filed Apr 17, 2006.
II. Oversight of the Companys Relationship with the Independent Auditors
Review and discuss with the independent auditors the scope of the proposed audit for the current year, the audit procedures to be utilized and, at the conclusion thereof, review such audit, including any comments or recommendations of the independent auditors (and any reports of the independent auditors with respect to interim periods), and the actual fees and expenses to be paid to the independent auditors for both audit and non-audit services.
Ensure that the independent auditors submit to the Committee on a periodic basis written statements regarding their independence and delineating all relationships between the independent auditors and the Company, including the written disclosures required by Independence Standards Board Standard No. 1 (Independence Discussions with Audit Committees), and actively engage in a dialogue with the independent auditors with respect to such statements and any disclosed relationships or services that may impact the objectivity and independence of the independent auditors and, if so determined by the Committee, recommend that the Board take appropriate action to satisfy itself of the independence of the independent auditors.
Obtain and review a report from the independent auditors at least annually regarding (a) the independent auditors internal quality-control procedures, (b) any material issues raised by the most recent internal quality-control review, or peer review, of the firm, or by any inquiry or investigation by governmental or professional authorities within the preceding five years respecting one or more independent audits carried out by the firm, (c) steps taken to deal with any such issues, and (d) all relationships between the independent auditors and the Company. Evaluate the qualifications, performance and independence of the independent auditors, including considering whether the auditors quality controls are adequate and the provision of permitted non-audit services is compatible with maintaining the auditors independence and taking into account the opinions of management and internal auditors. The Committee shall present its conclusions with
respect to the independent auditors to the Board.
Review and evaluate the lead partner of the independent auditor team.
Ensure the rotation of the lead audit partner having primary responsibility for the audit and the audit partner responsible for reviewing the audit at least as frequently as required by law.
Recommend to the Board policies for the Companys hiring of employees or former employees of the independent auditors who participated in any capacity in the audit of the Company.
Confirm that the independent auditors do not provide personal financial services or tax advice to the Companys Executive Officers.
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