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Covid-19 having significant impact on the world’s auditors


27 Apr 2020


53% of respondents say they’re experiencing pressures completing client services work, and 36% say they face an inability to meet reporting deadlines

The impact of Covid-19 is already having a significant impact across the audit profession and public practice leaders finds research from ACCA Covid-19 global survey: inside business, impacts and responses.

The pandemic has specific implications for auditing firms, with the nature of the audit process needing engagement and direct interaction with the audited entity.

Although digital advances continue to influence how audits are conducted and how evidence is gathered, as well as aspects of the reporting process, for many firms the crisis is creating a systemic shock to normal client engagement activities.

Mike Suffield, director – professional insights at ACCA says: ‘From increased pressure to complete audit work to issues in getting audit evidence, and very sensitive judgments in areas such as going concern, auditors will need to re-evaluate how they undertake normal auditing activities. There are challenges ahead, but respondents also spoke openly about opportunities.’

ACCA fellow, Dato' Lock Peng Kuan, Managing Partner, Audit & Assurance, Baker Tilly Malaysia and Chair of ACCA Audit and Assurance Global Forum, adds: ‘The key factor in managing a crisis of any nature is, first, to maintain a strong element of trust within the organisation, and with clients. It is immensely heartening to see respondents put health and safety top of their actions in dealing with the pandemic.’

A significant 53% of respondents said they were experiencing pressures completing client services work, and over a third (36%) said they faced an inability to meet reporting deadlines - a point recognised in many jurisdictions where reporting deadlines have been flexed. A quarter said they’re experiencing difficulties in gathering audit evidence, and 27% said they saw an increased audit risk relating to valuation of assets, completeness of liabilities or going concern issues.

On the positive side, the 1,857 respondents to the global research from public practice and audit leaders have already reported significant opportunities for providing enhanced insights and value to audited entities through the audit process.

Focussing on the risks ahead for all businesses across all sectors, Mike Suffield concludes: ‘These immediate impacts will resonate into the future, and it’s important that we do not lose sight of business fundamentals. Even in the face of Covid-19, businesses large and small will still face existing risks such as cybersecurity. We need to remember that different ways of working and strategic reactions could change these risks or even introduce new ones. Ensuring that risks continue to be managed, both specifically in response to the crisis and more generally, is essential.’

The full survey can be found on ACCA’’s website:

- Ends -

For media enquiries, contact:

Helen Thompson


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About ACCA

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants, offering business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.

ACCA supports its 219,000 members and 527,000 students (including affiliates) in 179 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 110 offices and centres and 7,571 Approved Employers worldwide, and 328 approved learning providers who provide high standards of learning and development.

Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.

ACCA has introduced major innovations to its flagship qualification to ensure its members and future members continue to be the most valued, up to date and sought-after accountancy professionals globally.

Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. More information is here:


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