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As the global business community continues to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s more important than ever that CPAs provide the strategic leadership and expertise expected of our profession. To help support you during this uncertain period, CPA Ontario has compiled a collection of resources that addresses the global situation and the impact to our profession. Topics include: financial reporting, tax, audit and regulatory, practice management, and adapting to new working conditions and tips to stay healthy.

In addition to these resources, the Advisory Services team offers thoughtful, objective and timely feedback that can help you navigate this unprecedented climate. Consultations are strictly confidential and informal, and they are available whether you are working in industry, in public practice, retired or volunteering. Have a question? Our advisors, who are seasoned CPAs, are here to help. Email practiceadvisory@cpaontario.ca or phone: 416 204.3106 or 1 800 387.0735 x4456.

CPA Ontario remains steadfast in its commitment to protect the public trust. We will continue to provide additional resources as they become available and we look forward to staying connected.

DISCLAIMER: Certain links on this Site take you to other websites, resources or tools maintained by third parties over whom CPA Ontario has no control. CPA Ontario provides these links only as a convenience and is not responsible for the contents of any linked website. CPA Ontario makes no representations or warranties regarding, and does not endorse, any linked website, the contents thereof, the information appearing thereon or any of the products or services described thereon. Links do not imply that CPA Ontario sponsors, endorses or is affiliated or associated with the entity that owns or is responsible for any linked website. If you decide to visit any linked websites, you will do so at your own risk. CPA Ontario bears no responsibility whatsoever for the content, accuracy or security of any websites that are linked (by way of hyperlink or otherwise).

COVID-19 RESPONSE

LEARN ABOUT THE STEPS CPA ONTARIO IS TAKING AND HOW THEY AFFECT MEMBERS AND STUDENTS.
READ MORE

FINANCIAL REPORTING

The recent and rapid spread of COVID-19 has affected the business activity of many entities. The following resources can help preparers of financial statements manage the accounting implications of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Resources

Accounting considerations related to coronavirus
Deloitte, March 28, 2020

Key IFRS accounting considerations related to economic conditions that may result from COVID-19.

Application of IFRS 9 in the light of the coronavirus uncertainty
IASB, March 27, 2020

The International Accounting Standards Board highlights requirements within IFRS 9 Financial Instruments that are relevant for organizations considering the accounting implications of COVID-19 on expected credit losses.

Accounting considerations of the coronavirus outbreak
EY, March 2020 

An overview of the existing IFRS requirements that should be considered when addressing the financial effects of the COVID-19 outbreak in the preparation of IFRS financial statements for the annual or interim reporting periods ending in 2020. Refer to "Applying IFRS, accounting considerations of the coronavirus outbreak, February 2020" for guidance on preparing 2019 IFRS financial statements.

COVID-19 Financial reporting resource centre
KPMG, March 2020

KPMG has developed a library of resources that contain information about the financial reporting impacts for COVID-19. This resource centre will be regularly updated with information on the rapidly changing situation, and will focus on the financial reporting impacts periods ending in 2020.

The impact of COVID-19 on financial reporting and audit processes
KPMG, March 2020

Implications of the COVID-19 outbreak on disclosures and on other financial reporting and accounting matters.

Coronavirus: Thoughts on financial instruments accounting
KPMG, February 2020

Implications of the COVID-19 outbreak from a financial instruments accounting perspective.

In brief: A look at current financial reporting issues and accounting implications of coronavirus
PwC, February 2020 

Addressing whether the emergence and spread of COVID-19 should be accounted for as an adjusting or non-adjusting event under IAS 10, Events after the reporting period. It also highlights going concern considerations and disclosure requirements. 

TAX AND OTHER RELIEF MEASURES

Canada’s federal and provincial governments are taking action to help individuals and businesses that are facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. A new set of economic measures were announced to help stabilize the economy during this challenging period.

Resources

 

Government of Canada

Canada's COVID-19 economic response plan

Important changes to tax-filing and payment deadlines
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) tax filing

The CRA announced that the filing due date for 2019 tax returns will be deferred. See updated filing schedule below:

  • Individuals - June 1, 2020;
  • Trusts having a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019 - is May 1, 2020;
  • Trusts with a filing due date in April 2020 or May 2020 - June 1, 2020;
  • Corporations with a filing due date after March 18, 2020 and before June 1, 2020 - June 1, 2020;
  • Partnership returns - May 1, 2020; and
  • Charities with a return due between March 18, 2020 and December 31, 2020 - December 31, 2020

CRA payment extensions

All taxpayers (including corporations, trusts and self-employed individuals) will be allowed to defer the payment of any income tax amounts due on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 1, 2020 to the new deadline of September 1, 2020. This relief will apply to tax balances due, as well as installments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act.

In addition, Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) remittances and customs duty payments are deferred to June 30, 2020. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.

Economic plans

The Government of Canada has introduced a stimulus package to provide support to workers and businesses. Some of the initiatives are temporary income support for certain groups, increase in the Goods and Services Tax credit and annual Canada Child Benefit payments, longer-term income support for workers, wage subsidies for businesses and ensuring businesses have access to credit.

Other tax related News

No post-assessment GST/HST or Income Tax audits of small or medium businesses will be initiated by the CRA until mid-April. The CRA will temporarily suspend audit interaction with taxpayers and representatives for the vast majority of businesses.

 

Government of Ontario

Ontario's Action Plan

Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 outlines the government’s $17 billion response to support individuals and businesses through tax credits and deferrals, including:

  • Temporary increase to the Employer Health Tax exemption;
  • A five-month interest and penalty free period, from April 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020, for business payments of select provincially administered taxes; and
  • Deferring property tax payments municipalities make to school boards by 90 days, which in turn will provide municipalities with the flexibility to provide property tax deferrals to residents and businesses.

The Ontario government has also introduced other relief measures including temporary emergency support for people in financial need, job protection for workers, assistance to families for extra costs associated with school and daycare closures, student loan and interest deferrals, and electricity cost reductions.

 

CPA Canada

Ongoing discussions between the federal government and the profession on COVID-19 tax relief
CPA Canada, March 2020

Discussions are ongoing between the profession and the CRA on the issues related to COVID-19 and the relief that the government announced.

AUDIT AND REGULATORY

The current outbreak of COVID-19 has an impact on the completion of the audits and compliance with regulatory requirements. The following list includes Canadian and international resources that provide guidance with respect to the audit and regulatory implications of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Resources

 

Canada

CPAB COVID-19 audit implications
Canadian Public Accountability Board, March 30, 2020

The Canadian Public Accountability Board provides high level guidance around the implications of COVID-19 when conducting Canadian public company audits. Important areas for consideration when designing audit approaches include: completion of year-end financial statements and the audit, inventory counts, subsequent events, going concern and implications of performing an audit remotely.

Bank of Canada announces rate cut and two new programs
The Bank of Canada, March 27, 2020

The Bank of Canada (the Bank) has lowered its interest rate by 50 basis points to ¼ percent to provide support to the Canadian financial system and the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bank also announced two new programs to alleviate and address strains in short-term funding markets and the Government of Canada debt market.

CSA provides guidance on conducting Annual General Meetings
The Canadian Securities Administrators, March 20, 2020

The Canadian Securities Administrators provides guidance to reporting issuers planning to conduct virtual or hybrid Annual General Meetings (AGM) and who would like to change the date, time and location of an in-person AGM during the COVID-19 outbreak.

CSA publishes temporary relief from some regulatory filings
The Canadian Securities Administrators, March 23, 2020 (CSA original announcement available here)

The Canadian Securities Administrators offer a 45-day extension for periodic filings made by issuers, investment funds, registrants, certain regulated entities and designated rating organizations on or before June 1, 2020.

CSA provides update on COVID-19 and potential filing delays by reporting issuers
The Canadian Securities Administrators, March 16, 2020

The Canadian Securities Administrators asks reporting issuers to apply for a management cease-trade order (MCTO) if they foresee not being able to file their annual or interim financial statements by their prescribed deadline, due to COVID-19.

 

United States

PCAOB offers audit firms relief from inspections during coronavirus outbreak
Public Company Oversight Board, March 23, 2020

The Public Company Oversight Board is giving firms a break on inspections until May 11, 2020, given the difficulties businesses are facing from COVID-19.

SEC to provide regulatory relief for public companies
The Securities Exchange Commission, March 25, 2020

In response to the potential effects of COVID-19, this order provides temporary relief for public companies that have filings due between March 1, 2020 and July 1, 2020.

SEC’s Division of Corporate Finance issues public company disclosure guidance
The Securities Exchange Commission, March 25, 2020

The Securities Exchange Commission's Division of Corporation Finance has provided its current views on disclosure considerations public companies should consider with respect to COVID-19.

 

Other Jurisdictions

IAASB staff alert on audit considerations arising from changes due to COVID-19
The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board, March 2020

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board highlights significant areas for consideration in designing and performing audit procedures due to the impact of COVID-19. Areas to focus mainly include risks of material misstatement, accounting estimates, going concern, subsequent events, group audits and forming an opinion and reporting on financial statements.

FRC and Chartered Governance Institute guidance on conducting Annual General Meetings
The Financial Reporting Council and the Chartered Governance Institute, March 27, 2020

The Financial Reporting Council and the Chartered Governance Institute recommends that companies encourage shareholders to vote by proxy as well as make it clear that public gatherings of more than two people are not permitted and stress that anyone seeking to attend an Annual General Meeting in person will be refused entry.

FRC guidance for companies and auditors
Financial Reporting Council, March 26, 2020

The Financial Reporting Council has published guidance for listed companies on corporate governance and reporting and for auditors on matters to consider when carrying out audit engagements.

FCA to provide temporary relief for listed companies
Financial Planning Today, March 26, 2020

The Financial Conduct Authority is allowing listed companies an additional two months to file their audited financial statements. Under this temporary relief companies will need to publish audited financial statements within 6 months of their year-end, rather than 4 months.

FCA requests delay of preliminary financial statements
Financial Reporting Council, March 23, 2020

This news release from the Financial Reporting Council notes that the Financial Conduct Authority has requested listed companies to delay the release of preliminary financial statements expected to be published within the next two weeks in order to consider the implications of COVID-19.

FRC guidance on audit issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic
Financial Reporting Council, March 16, 2020

The Financial Reporting Council provides guidance around the implications of COVID-19 when conducting audits.

FRC advice on risk disclosures
Financial Reporting Council, February 17, 2020

The Financial Reporting Council provides advice to companies and auditors on disclosure of risks and other reporting consequences arising from the emergence of COVID-19. 

PRACTICE MANAGEMENT

The current outbreak of COVID-19 is affecting how practitioners operate their practices and interact with clients. This guidance provides a list of Canadian and international resources that practitioners should consider when operating their practices and responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Resources

Ontario prohibits gatherings of more than five people
Government of Ontario, March 28, 2020

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Ontario is further limiting organized public events and social gatherings to a maximum of five people (previously fifty people), with few exceptions.

Ontario Human Rights Commission’s policy statement on COVID-19
Ontario Human Rights Commission, March 13, 2020

The Ontario Human Rights Commission addresses how public and private companies must recognize their human rights obligations and consider the impacts of COVID-19 on the vulnerable groups they employ or serve.

Ontario orders mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces
Government of Ontario, March 23, 2020

Ontario's government ordered the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces for at least 14 days effective March 24, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Non-essential businesses that can continue operations with employees working remotely were given approximately 36 hours to prepare and adapt. The list of essential workplaces announced by the Ontario Government included professional services such as lawyers and paralegals, engineers, accountants, and translators.

Government of Canada employment insurance
Government of Canada, March 19, 2020

This government website provides up-to-date information on how COVID-19 impacts Employment Insurance.

WHO’s advice for getting your workplace ready for COVID-19
World Health Organization, February 27, 2020

The World Health Organization provides guidance on how businesses and employers can play a role to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Preparedness and response guide for Canadian businesses
Mondaq, March 19, 2020

Guidance on how Canadian businesses can prepare and respond to COVID-19.

Legal considerations for Canadian boards
Mondaq, March 19, 2020

The legal duties of corporate boards in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following resources will help you adapt to new working conditions and provide tips to stay healthy during this pandemic.

WORKING REMOTELY

Consistent with global efforts to mitigate the spread of this virus, many organizations have directed employees to work from home. While moving to a fully remote scenario is new to some, great work can happen anywhere.

Resources

Tips for tax professionals working virtually
Intuit, March 23, 2020

Recommendations provided by several tax practitioners on how to work remotely. Topics include data security and receipt of client documents electronically.

Online meeting technology options for tax season
Intuit, March 23, 2020

A list of online meeting applications that can be used to conduct meetings with clients and employees

Working remotely? LinkedIn provides resources that can help
LinkedIn, March 12, 2020

How to maximize the efficiency and productivity of remote work.

Social distancing can carry a heavy psychological price tag
Psychology Today, March 18, 2020

Psychologists discuss the importance of staying connected while maintaining physical distance.

PROTECT YOURSELF

Coronaviruses are spread mainly from person to person through close contact, for example, in a household, workplace or health care centre. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The Government of Ontario provides information on how you can protect yourself here Ontario.ca.

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

To limit the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada advises that you avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. If you have plans to travel, contact your airline or tour operator to determine options for cancelling or postponing your trip.

Federal and provincial public health leaders have recommended that all travelers from outside of Canada self-isolate for 14 days. These efforts will slow the spread of COVID-19 in Canada.

For more information and resources, please visit: Canada.ca and COVID-19 Travel Advisory.

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