The General Meeting appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers AG, Zurich, for the first time as its statutory auditor in April 2002. According to Article 27 of the Articles of Association of the company, the auditor must be newly appointed or confirmed, respectively, each year by the General Meeting. The reporting year is the third year for the responsible lead auditor (in charge since 2020). Pursuant to the provisions of the Swiss Code of Obligations, the responsible lead auditor may not hold office for more than seven years.
The total audit fees billed by the audit company in the reporting year 2022 amounted to CHF 2.0 million.
The total sum of additional fees – mainly related to tax and advisory – billed by the audit company in the reporting year amounted to CHF 0.5 million.
Supervisory and controlling instruments
Supervision and control regarding the assessment of the auditor is exercised by the whole Board of Directors. The whole Board of Directors is supported by the Audit Committee in this task. The Audit Committee also ensures the ongoing communication with the auditor and regularly discusses with its representatives the results of audit work in the area of financial reporting and the adequacy of the internal control systems. Before the interim audit, the auditor prepares an audit plan for the attention of the members of the Audit Committee. Based on a current analysis of the business and audit risks, the focal points of the audit are proposed. The audit plan is approved by the Audit Committee and subsequently also by the whole Board of Directors. The appropriateness of the audit fees and possible additional fees for “non-audit” services are also reviewed on this occasion. The final report on the audit of the annual financial statements is submitted to all members of the Board of Directors. It is discussed in advance with the auditor in the Audit Committee and then finally approved by the whole Board of Directors at the meeting or in the circular resolution, respectively, regarding the adoption of the Annual Report. In 2022, the auditor attended one meeting of the Audit Committee. The auditor’s direct access to the Audit Committee is guaranteed at all times. Information about the organization and scope of duties of the Audit Committee can be found in the chapter “Committees of the Board of Directors” in this Annual Report.