Duration of the mandate and term of office of the lead auditor
Since financial year 2006, the auditors of the holding company and Group have been Pricewaterhouse-Coopers Ltd., Neuchâtel. The auditors are appointed annually by the General Meeting of Shareholders. Mr. Gerhard Siegrist, Chartered Public Accountant, took over the audit responsibility in the year under review from Mr. Oliver Kuntze, this for a maximum period of 7 years. Every three to five years a call for tender is issued to duly qualified accountants. The decision is based on the quality of the bid, its presentation by the auditors who will be leading the assignment, and the proposed audit fee. Audit services provided are evaluated on the basis of the written and oral reports provided by the auditors to the Board of Directors, and by feedback from management on the way the audits are conducted. The same procedure applies to the evaluation of additional non-audit services supplied.
The audit fees paid to PricewaterhouseCoopers Ltd. are as follows:
The additional services paid to PricewaterhouseCoopers Ltd. are as follows:
Other services include tax and other assurance services.
Information instruments pertaining to the external audit
The audit plan is submitted by the auditors to the Board of Directors for approval of the areas to be the object of particular scrutiny in the year under review. The Board of Directors also asks the auditors to carry out reviews of specific areas that are not included in the audit plan but for which particular reassurance is sought. PricewaterhouseCoopers Ltd. keeps the Board of Directors regularly advised of its activity, and participates in its meetings as required. In 2020, the auditors attended one meeting of the Board of Directors and submitted two reports to it. At the end of the year, the Board of Directors examines, together with the auditors and in the presence of the CEO and CFO, the annual accounts of the holding and the Group together with the financial report.