Ratification of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
Our Board recommends a vote FOR the ratification of the appointment of Ernst & Young LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm for the 2017 fiscal year.
The Audit Committee of the Board has appointed, and as a matter of good corporate governance, is requesting ratification by the stockholders of Ernst & Young LLP as the independent registered public accounting firm to audit our consolidated financial statements for the fiscal year ending October 31, 2017. During fiscal 2016, Ernst & Young LLP served as our independent registered public accounting firm and also provided certain other audit-related and tax services. See "Principal Accounting Fees and Services" and "Report of the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors" below. Representatives of Ernst & Young LLP are expected to participate in the annual meeting, where they will be available to respond to appropriate questions and, if they desire, to make a statement.
Ratification of the appointment of Ernst & Young LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm for the 2017 fiscal year requires the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares of HP common stock present in person or represented by proxy and entitled to be voted at the annual meeting. If the appointment is not ratified, the Board will consider whether it should select another independent registered public accounting firm.
Report of the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors
The Audit Committee represents and assists the Board in fulfilling its responsibilities for general oversight of the integrity of HP's financial statements, HP's compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, the independent registered public accounting firm's qualifications and independence, the performance of HP's internal audit function and independent registered public accounting firm, and risk assessment and risk management. The Audit Committee manages HP's relationship with its independent registered public accounting firm (which reports directly to the Audit Committee). The Audit Committee has the authority to obtain advice and assistance from outside legal, accounting or other advisors as the Audit Committee deems necessary to carry out its duties and receives appropriate funding, as determined by the Audit Committee, from HP for such advice and assistance.
HP's management is primarily responsible for HP's internal control and financial reporting process. HP's independent registered public accounting firm, Ernst & Young LLP, is responsible for performing an independent audit of HP's consolidated financial statements and issuing opinions on the conformity of those audited financial statements with United States generally accepted accounting principles and the effectiveness of HP's internal control over financial reporting. The Audit Committee monitors HP's financial reporting process and reports to the Board on its findings.
In this context, the Audit Committee hereby reports as follows:
- The Audit Committee has reviewed and discussed the audited financial statements with HP's management.
- The Audit Committee has discussed with the independent registered public accounting firm the matters required to be discussed under the rules adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board ("PCAOB").
- The Audit Committee has received from the independent registered public accounting firm the written disclosures and the letter required by the applicable requirements of the PCAOB regarding the independent registered public accounting firm's communications with the Audit Committee concerning independence and has discussed with the independent registered public accounting firm its independence.
- Based on the review and discussions referred to in paragraphs (1) through (3) above, the Audit Committee recommended to the Board, and the Board has approved, that the audited financial statements be included in HP's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2016, for filing with the SEC.
The undersigned members of the Audit Committee have submitted this Report to the Board of Directors.
Mary Anne Citrino, Chair
Robert R. Bennett
Stephanie A. Burns
Principal Accounting Fees and Services
Fees incurred by HP for Ernst & Young LLP
The following table shows the fees paid or accrued by HP for audit and other services provided by Ernst & Young LLP for fiscal 2016 and 2015.
|All Other Fees(4)||0.2||4.1|
(1) Audit fees represent fees for professional services provided in connection with the audit of our financial statements and review of our quarterly financial statements and audit services provided in connection with other statutory or regulatory filings. Audit fees for fiscal 2015 included fees for audit services provided in connection with the separation of Hewlett-Packard Company into two independent publicly-traded companies, HPE and HP Inc.
(2) Audit-related fees for fiscal 2016 consisted primarily of merger and acquisition due diligence of $1.8 million and also included accounting consultations, employee benefit plan audits and other attestation services of $1.4 million. Audit-related fees for fiscal 2015 consisted primarily of service organization control examinations and other attestation services of $9.0 million and also included accounting consultations, employee benefit plan audits and merger and acquisition due diligence of $12.9 million.
(3) Tax fees consisted primarily of tax advice and tax planning fees of $3 million and $18.8 million for fiscal 2016 and fiscal 2015, respectively. For fiscal 2016 and fiscal 2015, tax fees also included tax compliance fees of $993,366 and $1.2 million, respectively.
(4) For fiscal 2016 and 2015, all other fees included primarily advisory service fees.
Pre-Approval of Audit and Non-Audit Services Policy
The Audit Committee has delegated to the chair of the Audit Committee the authority to pre-approve audit-related and non-audit services not prohibited by law to be performed by our independent registered public accounting firm and associated fees up to a maximum for any one service of $250,000, provided that the chair shall report any decisions to pre-approve services and fees to the full Audit Committee at its next regular meeting.