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Q&A: Audit committee outlook from a committee chair and former EY auditor

Compliance Week | March 19, 2019

Jan Babiak is an independent board member on companies listed in three countries. She chairs the audit committees of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and the Bank of Montreal and serves on the board of Euromoney Institutional Investors plc. She spent more than 28 years with EY, the last 20 of which were in London in various global regulatory, audit, assurance and cyber-security leadership roles before transitioning to her current portfolio of board leadership positions.

Q. How have you transitioned your experience as a career auditor into now serving on and chairing audit committees? How has that perspective shaped your approach to audit committee service?

A. Historically, audit committee chairs were and are predominantly retired CFOs. From that perspective, it’s not surprising many of them think of an audit as something being done to them. When coming from that mind set, their approach can be “let’s get the fees down.” My...

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