8.1 Duration of audit firm's engagement and tenure of lead audit partner
8.1.1 Starting date of current audit engagement
The external independent auditor is elected annually by the General Meeting. Ernst & Young AG, Berne, have been the external independent auditors of Schaffner Holding AG since fiscal year 2002/03.
8.1.2 Date of first appointment of lead audit partner
The lead audit partner at the external auditors (the person in charge of the audit engagement), Ms. Bernadette Koch, has held this position since fiscal year 2009/10. By law, the lead audit partner's tenure is limited to seven years.
8.2 Audit fees
In fiscal year 2012/13, Ernst & Young AG billed the Schaffner Group a total of CHF 350 thousand for services in connection with the auditing of the company financial statements of Schaffner Holding AG and the consolidated financial statements of the Schaffner Group (prior year: CHF 358 thousand).
8.3 Additional fees
In addition, Ernst & Young AG invoiced the Schaffner Group CHF 51 thousand (prior year: CHF 18 thousand) for other services, which had the following composition:
|In CHF '000||2012/13||2011/12|
8.4 Monitoring the external independent auditors
The Audit Committee, on behalf of the Board of Directors, annually reviews the license, performance, fees and independence of the external auditors and recommends to the Board which external auditors to propose for election by the General Meeting. It also ensures compliance with the legal requirement for rotation of the lead audit partner. The external auditors in the course of their audit activities regularly communicate to the Audit Committee their findings and any suggestions for improvement. The results are reported through a management letter to the Board of Directors (prepared after the audit of the annual financial statements) and through the other reports of the external auditors.
The Audit Committee meets with the external auditors at least two times per year, sets the scope and objectives of the audits, and annually assesses the work of the external audit firm through a performance evaluation process. This process takes into account the Committee's experience in working with the external audit firm and the audit firm's own quality assurance measures in respect of the engagement. The Audit Committee obtains assurance that the lead audit partner has the necessary technical qualifications and fulfills the requirements as to independence. The Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer also attend these meetings with the external auditors. The Board of Directors is kept informed by the Audit Committee.