Course ID: HACE

How To Audit in a COVID-19 Environment and Know the Key Auditor Independence Rules

On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (“WHO”) announced a global health emergency because of a new strain of coronavirus originating in Wuhan, China (the “COVID-19 outbreak”) and the risks to the international community as the virus spreads globally beyond its point of origin. In March 2020, the WHO classified the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic, based on the rapid increase in exposure globally.

The full impact of the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve. As such, it is uncertain as to the full magnitude that the pandemic will have on organizations’ financial condition, liquidity, and future results of their operations. Organizations’ management are actively monitoring the situation on their financial condition, liquidity, operations, suppliers, industry, and workforce. Given the daily evolution of the COVID-19 outbreak and the global responses to curb its spread, companies are not able to estimate the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on their results of operations, financial condition, or liquidity for fiscal year 2020. If the pandemic continues, it could have a material adverse effect on companies’ results of future operations, financial position, and liquidity in fiscal year 2020.

In addition, we will explore the various auditor independence rules from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC)/ Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) that you will need to know when performing audit engagements.

This session will:
1) Provide external auditors both practical and insightful perspectives on how to navigate an audit engagement of a private company in 2020. You’ll learn which areas of the audit have increased in risk due to COVID-19 as well as what alternative audit procedures are available to engagement teams in circumstances where traditional audit procedures are not possible. You’ll acquire a clearer and deeper understanding of what will be needed to be done in order properly perform audit engagements under this difficult environment in accordance with Professional Standards.
2) Provide external auditors a general overview of the key independence rules from the AICPA and other standard-setters and regulators that you will need to know as to avoid impairment issues.

Learning Objectives
  • Identify areas of the audit where risk has gone up significantly due to the pandemic.
  • A discussion of viable alternative audit procedures to perform
  • Addressing potential reporting implications
  • Identify areas to avoid for potential impairment to independence

Major Topics
  • Proper planning of an audit engagement during the pandemic
  • Changes in the risk assessment procedures in response to COVID-19
  • How to gain an understanding of an organization’s internal control environment remotely
  • Properly communicating with management, board of directors and those charged with governance
  • Increase in going concern assessments
  • Significant financial reporting and disclosure implications
  • Key auditor independence rules from the AICPA, SEC/PCAOB, DOL and the GAO covering areas such as covered member/person concept, affiliates, financial & business relationships, non-attest services, fees, etc.

Advanced Preparations


Who Should Attend

Practitioners in public practice who conduct audit engagements.

Fields of Study
Auditing, Regulatory Ethics


General knowledge of AICPA Professional Standards and the Code of Professional Conduct

Business Learning Institute

CPE Credits


This course is available for your group as:


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