PricewaterhouseCoopers, Zurich, was appointed to audit the financial statements of the Corporation and of Georg Fischer Ltd for the first time in the year under review. The relevant entry in the Commercial Register dates from 24 April 2012. The chief auditor, Stefan Räbsamen, who is responsible for the mandate, began this work following the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on 21 March 2012. The auditor in charge is changed every seven years. The statutory auditor is elected at the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting for a term of one year.
At the Annual Shareholders' Meeting 2013, PricewaterhouseCoopers AG (Zurich), was re-elected as auditor for another one-year term of office.
In 2012, the Corporation spent about CHF 2.39 million worldwide in connection with the audit conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers of the financial statements of Georg Fischer Ltd, of the Georg Fischer Corporation, and of the Corporate Companies. For additional services PricewaterhouseCoopers received fees of approximately CHF 0.39 million. In 2012 these services relate to tax advice (CHF 0.08 million) and other consulting mandates in connection with accounting (CHF 0.31 million).
Supervisory and control instruments
The Audit Committee reviews and evaluates the effectiveness and independence of the external auditors annually. The Audit Committee bases its evaluation on the following criteria:
- quality of the documents and management letters,
- time taken and costs,
- quality of oral and written reports on individual aspects and pertinent questions relating to accounting, auditing or additional consulting mandates.
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 Auditing also issues an annual list of all services rendered by external auditors for the Corporation and their costs. This report is discussed by the Executive Committee and the Audit Committee. Authorization of the costs for the audit of Georg Fischer Ltd, the audit of the financial statements of the Corporation and of all Corporate Companies was given by the the Audit Committee for 2012, as part of the renewed tender procedure. Further services from PricewaterhouseCoopers will be examined by the Head of Internal Auditing and will be approved either by the CFO or by the managing directors of the individual Corporate Companies, depending on the volume. A high level of cost transparency is ensured because Internal Auditing prepares a report every year.
In the presence of internal and external auditors, the Audit Committee also evaluates potential for improvement regarding collaboration, the processing of assignments and any interfaces or overlapping of Internal and external Auditing. A representative of the auditors attended the five ordinary meetings of the Audit Committee.