Tool for effectiveness of Board Committees - Ask Right Questions

The structure of a board and the planning of the board’s work are key elements to effective governance. Committees of the Board of Directors are usually formed


There are various committees required to be constituted under the Companies Act, 2013 and listing provisions such as Audit Committee, Nomination and Remuneration Committee, Corporate Social Responsibility Committee, Stakeholders Relationship Committee and so on.

For every committee to work effectively one of the important criteria is to have high quality information which is appropriate for making timely decisions. Information should be accurate, clear, comprehensive and upto date. And for getting right information on timely manner right question are required to be asked by respective committee members during their committee meetings either to working committee, auditors or the management.


Audit Committee is one of the main pillars of the corporate governance mechanism in any organization. The committee members should know the answer of the following questions to arrive at effective and timely decision.

1.      What is the planned scope of the audit and what areas are covered under audit process?

2.      What audit process or methodology will be followed during audit and risk assessment?

3.      What should be the mandate of the respective audit function?

4.      Whether all locations of the organization such as factory, branch are getting covered during audit process?

5.      How is audit function staffed and what will be expected participation from senior partner during audit process?

6.      What is the relationship between auditor and committee apart from audit function?

7.      How the findings of the audit will be reported to the committee and what will be frequency of the same?

8.      Whether the auditor gets appropriate support from the senior management team?

9.      What will be the involvement of internal auditor during statutory audit? Are the activities of internal audit appropriately coordinated with those of statutory auditors?

10.   Whether appropriate financial reporting controls and disclosure control and procedures are in place?

11.   Whether business processes are properly identified and do management have control on key business processes?

12.   Does management have appropriate resources to assess the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting?

13.   Whether auditors have clear understanding of all significant operational matters and their anticipated financial consequences?

14.   What are the related party transactions, whether they are arms’ length or not and what methodology is followed by auditor to detect related party transactions?

15.   What are the company’s policies/procedures to deter conflict of interest, frauds, illegal acts and whether they are adequate?

16.   Whether auditor comes across any significant transaction that will affect the financial statement?

17.   Whether any pending or threatened tax or legal matter prevails or likely to have material effect on financial statements? Has management provided adequate disclosures within the financial statement?

18.   Whether auditors have any reason to believe that information was withheld from them or management representations were incorrect?

19.   Are there any adjustments or disclosures, proposed by the auditor not recorded by the management and reason thereof?

20.   Are accounting principles used by the organization overly conservative or aggressive? Do accounting principles confirm to the industry practice?

21.   Does the organization’s IT structure match business needs?

22.   Whether any accounting policies have been changed during the year?

23.   Whether auditors are satisfied that there is no substantial doubt about organization’s ability to continue as going concern?

24.   Whether any funds raised by the organization for any specific purpose is used for the same purpose or not?

25.   Are there any system or process deficiencies come across during internal audit?

26.   Whether auditors are satisfied that there is no substantial doubt about organization’s ability to continue as going concern?

27.   What is the management’s opinion about audit services performed by the auditor?


The major function of the committee is to formulate the criteria for determining qualifications, positive attributes and independence of a director and recommends to the Board a policy, relating to the remuneration for the directors, key managerial personnel and other employees. The committee members should know the answer of the following questions to arrive at effective and timely decision.

1.      Whether the proposed candidate is qualified to become the director of the company?

2.      Whether the proposed candidate is an ideal representation of skills on the board and diversity to enable discussion of strategic matters from all viewpoints?

3.      Whether the criteria adopted by the Board for assessing the independence of the directors are adequate?

4.      Does the organization have any criteria in relation to succession planning?

5.      How the executive compensation plan work and how the plan actually incents management?

6.      Whether company’s remuneration structures are equitable and aligned with the long-term interests of the company and its shareholders and having regard to relevant company policies?

7.      Whether the organization have the ESOP or ESOS plan for the employees of the company. If yes then what are the criteria for the grant, vesting schedule and conditions, etc.?

8.      What are policies of the company to attract and retain skilled executives? Does the organization have a significant degree of the variable or performance-linked payment mechanisms for the employees?

9.      What are the key performance indicators for each of the executives and whether they are appropriately communicated to them?

10.   Whether the Board has achieved the strategic objectives over 3-5 years?

11.   How efficiently are board meetings conducted and how are the qualities of the information to the board?

12.   How are the relationships of the board with different stakeholders?

13.   How each director rates his own contribution to the board and what is the rating mechanism for the board members to evaluate themselves?


The major role of the committee is to formulate and recommend to the Board, a CSR Policy which shall indicate the activities/programme to be undertaken by the company as Corporate Social Responsibility and recommending the amount of expenditure to be incurred on the CSR activities.

1.      Whether the CSR policy of the organisation is in line with company’s vision, mission and strategy?

2.      Is the board aware of CSR issues specific to the industry? What are the key social and environmental issues that could affect organization’s long term success?

3.      Does organization have buy-in from senior management in relation to CSR? Does the CSR program engage and inspire employees and customers? If not then how do employees get engaged in the company’s CSR strategy?

4.      Are measures in place for the board to assess the extent to which the company’s CSR commitments are adhered to across the company, and within its supply chain?

5.      Is management's compensation linked to performance on CSR goals and targets?

6.      Can organization tie the program back to core business objectives?

7.      How is the company tracking or measuring their CSR impact?

8.      Have organization is taking advantage of opportunities to reduce their environmental footprint in order to generate operational efficiencies and cost-savings?

9.      Do organization’s products and services advance social or environmental benefits? Are there social or environmental risks associated with the life cycle of our products that need to be managed, from design and production to use and disposal?

10.   What are the methods adopted by the organization to control modalities of the CSR expenditure?

11.   Has management provided adequate disclosures within the financial statement? 

How Can MentorMyBoard help you setting up Questions that you can in Committee Meeting?

MentorMyBoard is on a mission to set up effective Boards in India with great Board members. Setting up an advisory board for Companies is one of the topmost priorities that MentorMyBoard is making due efforts to inculcate in organization types via handholding and mentoring.

In order to have a right composition of leaders and right structuring with right skillsets and expertise, MentorMyBoard shall guide members to ask the right questions in Committee Meetings by understanding specific company business as well as future scope of growth.

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Category: Family Business
Directorship: All Directorship
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