The business and economic threats from the coronavirus outbreak continue. Travel bans have been imposed on millions of people and many countries have placed quarantine measures on their entire populations. Businesses are dealing with lost revenue and disrupted supply chains and there has been significant volatility in financial markets.
In such unprecedented times, there is much to consider. The health and safety of people around the world is the priority. Support for businesses and their employees is, of course, also required. Many governments have already announced measures to provide both financial and nonfinancial assistance to disrupted industry sectors and affected business organizations.
In this context, transparency is key. There is a vital need for reliable information to regain trust in uncertain times, and part of that will be provided through financial reporting. The impact on financial reporting may not be the first thing that comes to mind as a consequence of the outbreak, but there is an important and challenging role here for preparers of financial statements, audit committees and auditors.
As a result, auditors have to be mindful of heightened audit risks this year.