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German Law Journal

[Vol. 11 No. 02

with the 2005 established recommendation that the chairperson of the audit committee “shall have specialist knowledge and experience in the application of accounting principles and internal control processes” (financial expert, Section 5.3.2 GCGC). 116

Besides the above‐mentioned benefits of committees, further advantages of audit committees include, in particular, a more frequently and more intense cooperation of the supervisory board with the auditor. The members of audit committees receive more and better information regarding the competence and independence of auditors as well as regarding the company’s accounting and auditing. Since the audit committee is required to provide the supervisory board as a whole with the said information, audit committees improve the overall level of information of the supervisory board. Moreover, the close cooperation of supervisory board and auditor increases the independence of the auditor from the management board. 117

The audit committee gains even more importance, as the Accounting Law Reform Act118 has recently established a new provision in Section 107(3) making clear that the supervisory board can set up an audit committee, which monitors issues of accounting, internal control and risk management as well as auditing, in particular the impartiality of the auditor, auditing fees and further benefits that go beyond those fees.119 In this regard, there is a close connection between the obligations of the audit committee and the new

116 Regarding the financial expert, see Georg Lanfermann & Victoria Röhricht, Pflichten des Prüfungsausschusses nach dem BilMoG, 64 BB 887, 888 (2009); Mathias Habersack, Aufsichtsrat und Prüfungsausschuss nach dem BilMoG, 53 AG 98, 103‐104 (2008); Holger Erchinger & Winfried Melcher, Zur Umsetzung der HGB‐Modernisierung durch das BilMoG: Neuerungen im Hinblick auf die Abschlussprüfung und die Einrichtung eines Prüfungsausschusses, 62 DB Beilage 5 zu Heft 23/2009, 91, 97‐98 (2009); Ehlers & Nohlen (note 115), 115‐122; Bruno Kropff, Der unabhängige Finanzexperte in der Gesellschaftsverfassung, in FESTSCHRIFT FÜR KARSTEN SCHMIDT, 1023‐1040 (Georg Bitter et al. eds., 2009); Lieder (note 83), 573‐574.

117

LIEDER (note 2), 760‐761.

118 Bundesgesetzblatt 2009 I, 1102; for that purpose, see generally, Winfried Melcher & Daniela Mattheus, Zur Umsetzung der HGB‐Modernisierung durch das BilMoG: Neue Offenlegungsvorschriften zur Corporate Governance, 62 DB Beilage 5 zu Heft 23/2009, 77‐82 (2009); Karl‐Heinz Withus, Zur Umsetzung der HGB‐ Modernisierung durch das BilMoG: Wirksamkeitsüberwachung interner Kontroll‐ und Risikomanagementsysteme durch Aufsichtsorgane kapitalmarktorientierter Gesellschaften, 62 DB Beilage 5 zu Heft 23/2009, 82‐90 (2009); Erchinger & Melcher (note 116), 91‐98; Götz Tobias Wiese & Philipp Lukas, Das Bilanzrechtsmodernisierungsgesetz (BilMoG), 100 GMBHR 561‐569 (2009); Carl Braun & Christoph Louven, Neuregelungen des BilMoG für GmbH‐Aufsichtsräte, 100 GMBHR 965‐970 (2009); particularly regarding the independence requirement, see, Philipp Jaspers, Voraussetzungen und Rechtsfolgen der Unabhängigkeit eines Aufsichtsratsmitgliedes nach dem BilMoG, 54 AG 607‐615 (2009).

119 See, generally, Lanfermann & Röhricht (note 116), 887; Habersack (note 116), 98; Erchinger & Melcher (note 116), 96‐97.

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