Date posted: 17/04/2020

Auditing in a crisis – some issues to consider

COVID-19 has created an extraordinary disruption to business. But even though restrictions are in place some work must go on. So, what are some of the issues for auditors in all of this?

In brief

  • Audited financial reports are more valuable now than ever
  • Physical access restrictions and economic uncertainty present a number of challenges to the audit process and may have implications for the auditor’s report
  • Remote auditing is becoming a necessity, but auditing standards remain the same and audit quality has to be maintained

This is a situation many organisations have never seen before. An added complexity is it is affecting different organisations in different ways, but some commonality is many are facing significant uncertainty. Whilst it may not be top of mind, sound financial management – including audited financial reports – are even more imperative at times like this. But it does not come without its challenges, the restrictions resulting in remote auditing means it is shaping up to be a difficult reporting period for auditors. 

There are no exemptions for unusual circumstances such as pandemics. Auditors still need to comply fully with required standards and perform high quality audits. 

In this article, Craig Fisher FCA, provides insights into some of the challenges facing auditors during a crisis, drawing on his experiences from auditing during crisis situations over his career.