‘Internal supervision is functioning better than it did ten years ago,’ announced Accountant in its November issue, ‘but progress seems to have stalled.’ In the article – to which Gerben Evers, Jaap van Maanen, Auke de Bos, and Jouke Jelgershuis Swildens also contributed – Monique van Dijken Eeuwijk, head of NautaDutilh's Benelux sector team Professional Services, reflects on the composition and leadership of the supervisory board.
In her position, Monique is closely involved with the issues surrounding the relationship between companies’ external auditors, supervisory boards and management boards. According to Monique, one reason progress may have stalled could be that it sometimes proves impossible for the auditor to consult directly with the audit committee as desired without the management board of the company being audited getting involved.
Monique has noted in her practice that various stakeholders are trying to exercise more and more influence on the supervisory that can be expected from the supervisory board. As she sees it, expectations in addition to substantive knowledge ‘are increasingly relating to skills: the ability to reflect, the ability to evaluate – both yourself and your team – and the capacity to make yourself vulnerable and to dare to ask questions.’ ‘A diverse team is also a must.’ Expectations that also relate to actually carrying out the ‘stakeholder dialogue’ and demonstrating the supervisory board’s role as a supervisory and advisor. In short, the things that constitute leadership by the supervisory board.
According to Monique, it is ‘the lack of these qualities that can result in an insufficiently dependent and critical relationship with an organisation’s management. This while these qualities are actually inherent in the position of supervisory director.’ Monique has noted in her practice that supervisory boards are becoming more and more aware of this issue, and that will mean better opportunities for internal supervision.
Read more in the entire article (only available in Dutch).