Listed companies are required to make certain disclosures in their annual reports about the compensation paid to their top executives. One reason for this is to help interested stakeholders assess the performance of executives. It also helps executives and companies set appropriate compensation levels, based on what other companies in the same industry and/or of the same size are paying their executives. These disclosures are audited. Required Obtain the annual reports of 10 listed Australian companies in the same industry from the Year 2020. (Hint: See www.asx.com.au for a list of companies on the ASX, industry membership and links to company websites where you can download annual reports.) Extract the information on executive remuneration and describe the data using graphs and tables. Write a report addressing the following questions (justify your responses by referring to the data where appropriate). 1. How are the executives paid (cash, bonuses etc.)? 2. Discuss details about executive qualification, experiences and independence. 3. Which companies’ executives are paid the most and what is the range of pay? 4. Which companies’ executives’ pay is most linked to the company’s profit and/or share price performance? (Explain any assumptions you have to make.) 5. Overall, what do you conclude about how Australian company executives are paid and how clearly the compensation data is reported? Part B: Explain Auditing in times of social distancing: the effect of COVID-19 on auditing quality proposed by Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) in the following situations: 1. What should be the focus areas for auditors under COVID-19 conditions? 2. Should audit fees be reduced when reviewing other cost saving initiatives? 3. Should an auditor delay their opinion until a limitation or uncertainty is resolved? 4. What should be influence of COVID-19 and going concern assessment?
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