The impact of Covid-19 is already having a significant impact across the audit profession, according to research from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants’ (ACCA) Covid-19 global survey: inside business, impact and responses.
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.
Just over half (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 are 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.
ACCA director – professional insights – Mike Suffield said: “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.”