7. Auditors

Duration of the mandate and term of office of the lead auditor

The external Auditors are elected by the Annual General Meeting of shareholders for a term of office of one year.

PricewaterhouseCoopers have been the statutory auditors since 2003. Following a public invitation to tender for the mandate and at the request of the Board of Directors, the external audit of Orell Füssli Ltd and the consolidated financial statements was again awarded to PricewaterhouseCoopers at the Annual General Meeting on 28 April 2016. The auditor in charge, Thomas Wallmer, has been the lead auditor since the 2015 financial year. Audit fees of CHF 285,220 (2019: CHF 263,688) were incurred in 2020. Additional fees totalling CHF 20,487 (2019: CHF 10,120) were charged by PricewaterhouseCoopers in the year under review.

Audit supervision and control instruments

The supervision and control of the external auditors is carried out by the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors. Representatives of the auditing company are also invited to attend the meetings of the Audit Committee as informants. The Audit Committee assesses the performance, fees and independence of the external auditors. The criteria for this are professional competence, scope and quality of the written reports and oral statements, practical feasibility of the recommendations, transparent and effective communication and coordination, and adherence to deadlines. The Audit Committee annually reviews the scope of the external audit, the audit planning and the relevant processes and discusses the audit results with the external auditors. The external auditor’s reporting includes the audit reports and the comprehensive report of the auditors for the attention of the Audit Committee and the Board of Directors for the completed financial year.