Date posted: 29/04/2020

Reporting and audit implications of COVID-19

We sit down with accounting and auditing standard-setters from both Australia and New Zealand to talk about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In brief

  • As we head into reporting season, the physical distancing and economic uncertainty create some significant challenges for preparing and auditing financial reports
  • There is a lot of valuable work being done to help with the challenges and a wealth of guidance has already been produced
  • In this series of interviews we explore how to apply the accounting and auditing standards under the current circumstances and how to overcome some of the issues

Accounting and auditing standard-setting might seem not the most fundamental issues that society should be focusing on right now. But reporting and auditing are vital for sound financial management, which is arguably more important than ever right now. Therefore standard-setters have a vital role to perform in navigating this unchartered territory.

These video interviews were conducted on 6 April. Our panellists were:

  • Anthony Heffernan CA, Director Accounting Standards, New Zealand Accounting Standards Board (NZASB)
  • Helena Simkova ACCA, Acting Technical Director, Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB)
  • Matthew Zappulla FCA, Technical Director, Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AUASB)
  • Sylvia van Dyk FCA, Director Assurance Standards, New Zealand Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (NZAuASB)

Video 1 has a discussion on the action that has been taken to date by local and international accounting and auditing standard-setters in response to the current impact and future risks arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Video 2 gives insights as to whether the pandemic is an adjusting event or not for December versus other balance dates, and looks at both management's and the auditor's responsibilities for subsequent events.

Video 3 discusses the fundamental going concern assumption underlying financial statements, management's considerations and the auditor's responsibilities, as well as possible implications for the auditor's report.

Video 4 covers the challenges around physical access restrictions, particularly where it is impractical for the auditor to attend a stock take, the alterative procedures that may be available, and the potential impact on the auditor's report.

COVID-19 Resources hub

This dedicated hub is regularly updated to ensure members are equipped to navigate the serious long-term economic and business impacts from this pandemic.

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Q&A: Responding to COVID-19 reporting and audit challenges

This technical Q&A answers: What resources are available to assist me and my clients respond to the business, financial reporting and audit implications of COVID-19?

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