Duration of the mandate and term of office of the lead auditor
At the Annual General Meeting on June 11, 2020, Ernst & Young AG, Zurich, was newly elected as auditor for Sonova Holding AG and the Sonova Group for the 2020/21 financial year. Martin Mattes has served as lead auditor for the auditing mandate. Previously, PricewaterhouseCoopers AG had been elected auditor for Sonova Holding AG and the Sonova Group from July 5, 2001 until the 2020 AGM. As part of its commitment to good corporate governance, Sonova invited tenders for audit services commencing in the 2020/21 financial year. After a carefully conducted review, the Board of Directors decided to follow the Audit Committeeʼs recommendation and proposed the appointment of Ernst & Young as auditor of the statements of the Group and of Sonova Holding AG for the 2020/21 financial year. This proposal was approved by the 2020 AGM.
The auditors charged the following fees during FY 2020/21 and 2019/20:
Ernst & Young
Other non-audit services
Audit services are defined as the standard audit work performed each year in order to issue an audit opinion on the parent company and consolidated financial statements of the Sonova Group, as well as opinions on the local statutory financial accounts or statements. Also included is extra work within the audit that can only be provided by the Sonova Group auditor, such as auditing of non-recurring transactions or the implementation of new accounting policies, as well as consents and comfort letters in relation to regulatory filings.
Audit-related services consist of support to the audit, such as providing advice on new accounting rules; this could be provided by sources other than the auditor who signs the audit report.
Tax services consist of services in connection with compliance with tax laws.
Non-audit services mainly consisted of consulting fees in connection with local regulatory requirements.
The values of audit, audit-related, tax, and non-audit services are in line with ratios suggested by commonly applied good practice standards that relate to the independence of auditors. A formal policy issued by the Audit Committee is in place that regulates all non-audit assignments of the auditors.
Informational instruments pertaining to the external audit
The external auditors report their findings semi-annually directly to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors. In FY 2020/21, the external auditors attended 3 out of 6 Audit Committee meetings physically or by telephone conference. The Audit Committee of the Board of Directors reviews the performance, compensation, and independence of the external auditors on a regular basis. The Audit Committee reports its findings to the Board of Directors on a quarterly basis.