In 2012, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Zurich (Switzerland), was elected as external auditor. Stefan Räbsamen is the auditor in charge since the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting 2012. He will assume the responsibility of the audit for no longer than seven years. The next change in the lead auditor will happen after the audit in the fiscal year 2018. The statutory auditor is elected at the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting for a term of one year.
In 2018, the Corporation spent about CHF 2.76 million (previous year: CHF 2.70 million) worldwide in connection with the annual audits conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers at Georg Fischer Ltd, the Corporation, and the Corporate Companies. For additional services, PricewaterhouseCoopers received in 2018 fees of approximately CHF 1.26 million (previous year: CHF 0.56 million), thereof CHF 0.19 million (previous year: CHF 0.27 million) for consulting mandates in connection with accounting, CHF 0.21 million (previous year: CHF 0.07 million) for services related to tax advice and CHF 0.86 million (previous year: CHF 0.22 million) for transaction services.
Supervisory and control instruments
The external auditor informs the Audit Committee in writing about relevant auditing activities and findings as well as other important information regarding the audit of the Corporation. The auditor in charge of the external auditor attended the five ordinary meetings and one of the two extraordinary meetings of the Audit Committee.
The Audit Committee reviews and evaluates the effectiveness and independence of the external auditors annually. For this purpose, Internal Audit reviews all auditing services rendered by external auditors for the Corporation and their costs. The Audit Committee bases its evaluation on the following criteria:
- –quality of the documents and reports provided to the Audit Committee and the management
- –time taken and costs
- –quality of oral and written reports on individual aspects and pertinent questions relating to accounting, auditing, or additional consulting mandates
In cooperation with internal and external audit, the Audit Committee evaluates the potential for improvements regarding the collaboration, the processing of the assignments and the interfaces or overlapping of internal and external audit work.
For the evaluation, the members of the Audit Committee use first of all the knowledge and experience which they have acquired as a result of similar functions at other companies. Internal Audit also issues an annual list of all services rendered by external auditors for the Corporation and their costs. The costs for the annual audits of Georg Fischer Ltd, the Corporation, and of all Corporate Companies were approved by the Audit Committee. Further services from PricewaterhouseCoopers are examined by the Head of Internal Audit and, depending on the amount, approved either by the CFO or by the Managing Directors of the respective Corporate Companies.