CHARTER OF THE AUDIT COMMITTEE OF
AUTHORITY AND PURPOSE
The Audit Committee (the “Committee”) of Sonic Solutions (the “Company”) is appointed by the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) to oversee the accounting and financial reporting processes of the Company and audits of the financial statements of the Company. In addition, the Committee shall review the policies and procedures adopted by the Company to fulfill its responsibilities regarding the fair and accurate presentation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) and the National Association of Securities Dealers (the “NASD”) applicable to Nasdaq listed issuers. The Committee shall discharge its responsibilities and shall access the information provided by the Company’s management and the independent auditors, in accordance with its business judgment. In exercising its business judgment, the Committee shall be entitled to rely on the information and advice provided by the Company’s management and/or its independent auditors.
The Committee shall undertake those specific duties and responsibilities listed below and such other duties as the Board shall from time to time prescribe. All powers of the Committee are subject to the restrictions designated in the Company’s Bylaws and applicable laws, rules and regulations.
COMMITTEE STRUCTURE AND MEMBERSHIP
The Committee shall be comprised of three directors of the Board. The Committee members shall be designated by the Board, in compliance with the Bylaws of the Company, and shall serve at the discretion of the Board.
Each member of the Committee shall be an independent director (as defined by all applicable rules and regulations). For purposes hereof, an “independent director” shall be one:
who accepts no consulting, advisory or other compensatory fee from the Company other than in his or her capacity as a member of the Committee, the Board or any other committee of the Board or is not otherwise an affiliated person of the Company; and
who is free from any relationship that, in the opinion of the Board, would interfere with the exercise of his or her independent judgment in carrying out the responsibilities of a director.
In addition, each member of the Committee shall meet the requirements of Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code for “outside director.”
At least one member of the Committee shall be an “audit committee financial expert,” as defined by Section 407 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, having an understanding of generally accepted accounting principles and financial statements, experience in the preparation or auditing of financial statements of companies generally comparable to the Company, experience in the application of generally accepted accounting principles in connection with the accounting for estimates, accruals and reserves, experience with internal accounting controls and an understanding of audit committee functions.
Each member of the Committee shall be able to read and understand fundamental financial statements in accordance with the rules of the NASD applicable to Nasdaq listed issuers. At least one member shall have past employment experience in finance or accounting, a professional certification in accounting or other comparable experience or background that results in the individual’s possessing the requisite financial sophistication, such as a current or past position as a chief executive or financial officer or other senior officer with financial oversight responsibilities.
The Committee shall meet as frequently as circumstances dictate. Unless a Chairman of the Committee is elected by the Board, the Committee shall elect a Chairman by majority vote.
The Committee shall have the power to conduct or authorize investigations into any matters within the Committee’s scope of responsibilities and shall be provided with appropriate funding to carry out such investigations. The Committee shall be empowered to engage independent counsel, and other advisers, as it determines necessary to carry out its duties, and shall be provided with appropriate funding to engage such independent counsel and other advisers. The Committee shall have appropriate funding to cover ordinary administrative expenses of the Committee that are necessary or appropriate in carrying out its duties.
The Committee’s policies and procedures should remain flexible, in order to best react to changing conditions and to ensure to the Board and the Company’s stockholders that the corporate accounting and reporting practices of the Company are in accordance with all requirements and are of the highest quality.
In meeting its responsibilities, the Committee is expected to:
1. Review and reassess the adequacy of this Charter no less frequently than annually.
2. With respect to the Company’s independent auditors:
a. The Committee is responsible for the appointment, compensation and oversight of the work of the Company’s independent auditors. The Committee shall pre-approve all auditing services (including the provision of comfort letters) and non-audit services provided by the independent auditors to the Company, other than as may be allowed by applicable law. The Committee may delegate to one or more designated Committee members the authority to grant pre-approvals required by the foregoing sentence. The decisions of any Committee member to whom authority is delegated hereunder shall be presented to the Committee at each of its scheduled meetings.
b. Review the independence of the independent auditors, including a review of management consulting services, and related fees, provided by the independent auditors. The Committee shall require the independent auditors at least annually to provide a formal written statement delineating all relationships between the independent auditors and the Company consistent with the rules of the NASD applicable to Nasdaq listed issuers and request information from the independent auditors and management to determine the presence or absence of a conflict of interest.
3. Review and concur with management on the scope and responsibilities of an internal audit department, if any, and on the appointment, replacement, reassignment or dismissal of an internal audit department manager or director, as applicable.
4. Review and discuss with management, before release, the audited financial statements and the Management’s Discussion and Analysis proposed to be included in the Company’s Annual Report in Form 10-K. Make a recommendation to the Board whether or not the audited financial statements should be included in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K.
5. In connection with its review of the Company’s interim and audited financial statements, if no report is made by the independent auditors and management, the Committee shall inquire of the Company’s management and the independent auditors as to whether there were any significant financial reporting issues and judgments made in connection with the preparation of such financial statements, as well as the potential impact on the Company’s financial statements of any proposed changes in accounting and financial reporting rules.
6. In consultation with the independent auditors, the internal audit department, if any, and management, consider and review at the completion of the annual examinations and such other times as the Committee may deem appropriate:
a. The Company’s annual financial statements and related notes.
b. The independent auditors’ audit of the financial statements and their report thereon.
c. The independent auditors’ reports regarding critical accounting policies, alternative treatments of financial information and other material written communications between the independent auditors and management, including the written disclosures and letter from the independent auditors required by Independence Standards Board Standard No. 1 (or any amended or successor standard).
d. Any deficiency in, or suggested improvement to, the procedures or practices employed by the Company as reported by the independent auditors in their annual management letter.
7. The Committee shall at least annually inform the independent auditors, the Chief Financial Officer, the Controller, and the most senior other person, if any, responsible for the internal audit activities, that they should promptly contact the Committee or its Chairman about any significant issue or disagreement concerning the Company’s accounting practices or financial statements that is not resolved to their satisfaction.
8. Periodically, and to the extent appropriate under the circumstances, it may be advisable for the Committee, with the assistance of the independent auditors, the internal audit department, if any, and/or management, to consider and review the following:
a. Any significant changes required in the independent auditors’ audit plan.
b. Any difficulties or disputes with management encountered during the course of the audit.
c. The adequacy of the Company’s system of internal financial controls.
d. The effect or potential effect of any regulatory regime, accounting initiatives or off-balance sheet structures on the Company’s financial statements.
e. Any correspondence with regulators or governmental agencies and any employee complaints or published reports that raise material issues regarding the Company’s financial statements or accounting policies.
9. Discuss with the independent auditors the matters required to be discussed by Statement on Auditing Standards No. 61, as modified or supplemented.
10. Obtain from the independent auditors assurance that they have complied with Section 10A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
11. Establish procedures for (a) the receipt, retention and treatment of complaints received by the Company regarding accounting, internal accounting controls or auditing matters and (b) the confidential, anonymous submission by the Company’s employees of concerns regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters.
12. The Committee shall direct the independent auditors to use their best efforts to perform all reviews of interim financial information prior to disclosure by the Company of such information, and to discuss promptly with the Committee and the Chief Financial Officer any matters identified in connection with the auditors’ review of interim financial information which are required to be discussed by Statement on Auditing Standards No. 61 (or any amended or successor statement).
13. To the extent not otherwise approved by a comparable independent body of the Board, review and approve all related party transactions (consistent with the rules of the NASD applicable to Nasdaq listed issuers).
14. Prepare all reports required to be included in the Company’s proxy statement or annual report on Form 10-K in accordance with the Commission’s requirements.