29 April 2020

At Audit Assistant we are fully aware of the disruption of COVID-19 on your audit practice and like you doing are best to adjust to working remotely. We are working hard to ensure our service to you is not disrupted by this event.

The XRB website has useful information on how to incorporate COVID-19 into your audit. We recommend that if you have not done so already that you read their COVID auditing implication section and the attached link to articles and websites.

We are actively assessing our processes and remaining vigilant to any new implications arising from updated guidance from regulatory and institutional authorities with an emphasis on our checklists and reports.

If you seek assistance arising from COVID-19, please feel free to contact us through our support desk.

Upon our review of Audit Assistant’s processes, templates, reports & support infrastructure to determine how we can improve, now and into the future, we will be implementing the following:

  • COVID-19 Checklist
  • COVID-19 Emphasis of Matter paragraphs
  • Infrastructure for users working remotely with an unreliable internet connection

COVID-19 Checklist

We have reviewed the XRB Audit Implications and IAASB guidance and have developed two features to help. In the planning (D) section an optional checklist has been created to help you with prompts for identifying and assessing the effects of COVID-19 for example:

  • Effects on audit deadlines
  • Impact on control environment and planned reliance on controls
  • Inability to attend stock takes
  • Regulatory factors and the appropriateness of assumptions for accounting estimates
  • Identification of subsequent events
  • Reconsideration of the appropriateness of the use of the going concern
  • Group audits

COVID-19 Emphasis of Matter Paragraphs

Auditors should consider whether an Emphasis of Matter paragraph for COVID-19 issues is appropriate. We have added a prompt on the Audit Report page (Z section) as follows:

Screenshot of Audit Assistant showing Covid-19 entry point

Here is a simple example of a COVID-19 EOM paragraph:

We draw attention to note xxx in the Financial Report, which describes events subsequent to year-end and specifically the possible effects of the future implications of COVID-19 on ABC Limited’s future financial position and performance. In our view this issue is fundamental to users’ understanding of the Financial Report. Our opinion is not modified in respect of this matter.

We have prepared this video as part of our training programme.

Emphasis of Matter – NZ Schools (OAG) Audit

The NZ OAG has specified that an EOM paragraph must be added to school audits as follows (amended as appropriate where reports are qualified):

We have added this paragraph so that it will automatically be included in all school audit reports.

Infrastructure for users working remotely with an unreliable internet connection

With everyone working from home, issues around internet connections have been identified as not all connections were created equal especially for those living in rural areas.  

This can be an area of great frustration especially when working on a page and the internet connection is temporarily down. This can mean that data and information that you were inputting to a page may not save. We are currently working on a feature that adds a message warning users when their internet connection is unavailable. In addition, any items (comments, review notes, etc) that fail to save, will no longer be lost. Instead you will be given the opportunity to retry saving once reconnected. This feature should be in by June.