External financial audit and assurance

Novo Nordisk’s financial reporting and the internal controls over financial reporting processes are audited by an independent external audit firm elected annually by the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting. As part of Novo Nordisk’s commitment to its social and environmental responsibility, the company voluntarily includes an assurance report for social and environmental performance in its annual report. The assurance provider reviews whether the social and environmental performance information covers aspects deemed to be material, and verifies the internal control processes for the information reported.

In March 2020, the Annual General Meeting elected PricewaterhouseCoopers as Novo Nordisk's external auditor. PricewaterhouseCoopers (formerly Price Waterhouse) was first elected external auditor by the Annual General Meeting of Novo Industri A/S (now Novo Nordisk A/S) in April 1982.

The auditor acts in the interest of the shareholders, as well as the public.

Reporting from external auditor

The external auditor reports any significant findings regarding accounting matters and any significant internal control deficiencies via the Audit Committee to the Board of Directors and in the auditor long-form report.

A more detailed management report on internal controls and accounting issues is provided to Executive Management. The Audit Committee supervises the annual audit process, which includes meetings with the external auditor.

Independence of external auditor

In order to safeguard independence and objectivity the Audit Committee pre-approves services to be provided by the statutory external auditor. The statutory external auditor is restricted from providing certain non-audit services and the lead partner is required to rotate every five years.

Internal audit

The internal audit function, group internal audit, provides independent and objective assurance primarily within internal control of financial processes, IT and business ethics. To ensure that the internal financial audit function works independently of Executive Management, its charter, audit plan and budget are approved by the Audit Committee. The Audit Committee must approve the appointment, remuneration and dismissal of the head of the internal audit function.