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.
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.
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.
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.