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How The Pandemic Is Affecting The Accounting Industry

For a complete view of the latest COVID-19 resources to assist in communications with customers, employees or partners, visit BDO’s Crisis Response Resource Center. Millions have submitted new jobless claims, and many economists are forecasting unemployment rates of between 10-15% in Q — with Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard predicting it may hit as high as 30%. We have seen well-established organizations that were previously viewed as “recession-proof” that have had their business models turned upside down. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Learn how we are encouraging diverse voices, empowering our people and taking action to effect change. Plus, Paystand announces new features; Wolters Kluwer’s TeamMate+ authorized for federal use; and other accounting technology news. Your site is a critical component of your employer brand, so it’s essential that you prioritize updating or redesigning it with future job candidates in mind.

  • An effective social media strategy can contribute to the profitability of a business.
  • Extracting and downloading all of our clients’ financial reporting data allowed auditors to look at an audit differently.
  • The coronavirus is ordinarily an adjusting event for any reporting period ending as from 31 January 2020.
  • Looks like you’ve logged in with your email address, and with your social media.
  • In the best of times, companies with accountants who manage well-organized finances and audit-ready processes give shareholders and potential investors confidence as to its direction and fiscal health.

In the coming months, auditors of financial statements must balance a multitude of unexpected variables. Audit firms will be asked to do things, formally and informally, to support and advise their clients. It’s imperative that auditors continue to acknowledge that the provision of a non-assurance service to an audit client, including advice or recommendations, might create independence issues and heighten ethics pressures. In some jurisdictions, such as the U.K., missed filing deadlines and the failure on some companies’ part to apply for extensions have led to automatically downgraded credit ratings. As a result, companies are pressured to have their audits completed quickly at any cost. The ethical responsibility to comply with the Code’s fundamental principles of integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, as well as professional behavior must remain top of mind. This article proposes to get acquainted with a study that, as a first approximation, assesses the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on a shift in emphasis in accounting and analytical work.

The accounting software market will experience a higher level of growth in the years ahead, according to a report by Fortune Business Insights. All over the world, there is a strong demand for software platforms to manage How The Pandemic Is Affecting The Accounting Industry spreadsheets and have a better understanding of tax management. During the forecast period of 2020 to 2024, the market will grow at a CAGR of 6%, taking into consideration the effect of the pandemic on the industry .


The 25% of PAOs forecasting a deterioration in financial sustainability must not be overlooked. The reasons for this need to be understood, and perhaps lessons learnt, ideas shared, and assistance provided, such that the profession can continue to thrive in all jurisdictions. Student registrations – half of those polled were expecting an increase, generally between 1-5%, in annual student registrations for qualification programs, with a further 20% expecting the position to remain unchanged.

This article should not be viewed as a substitute for recommendations of a retained professional. Such consultation is recommended in applying this material in any particular factual situations.

This is resulting in more targeted and meaningful conversations about specific findings, risks and insights, particularly in relation to risks and anomalies. Extracting and downloading all of our clients’ financial reporting data allowed auditors to look at an audit differently. In the past, if an auditor was using a statistical sample approach on a batch of invoices, there was typically an assumed error rate.

Bdo Global 2021 Financial Results

In addition, many of your customers are likely experiencing financial difficulties and liquidity issues. Many debt and equity securities have experienced significant declines in fair value in response to the pandemic. You could incur additional write-offs of receivables deemed uncollectible or be required to establish additional reserves on receivables due from entities affected, or expected to be affected, by the impacts of COVID-19. You’ll need to use judgment in determining what constitutes abnormal production levels in your business’ unique circumstances.

The pandemic, and the severe economic impact it had across industries, helped move the transition along. Although this service was directly related to the pandemic, firms will continue to expand their offerings even after the pandemic is in the past. In a 2021 survey, 33% of firms reported they anticipated adding new services like financial advisory, cash flow and risk advisory in the next year. CPAs have learned to adapt quickly to changes in their work, whether it be major financial programs like the Paycheck Protection Program or adjusting the way they work with clients.

The World Health Organization and national authorities can be consulted for the health implications on people. This crisis also has significant economic effects on companies, for example due to restrictions in production, trade and consumption or due to travel bans. Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), its global network of member firms and their related entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. What lies beyond for the profession might be the expansion of the scope of our profession to include all data types. Accountants are generally considered the masters of the world of financial data and not all that concerned with the world of non-financial data. Accounting has traditionally focused on recording and protecting the transaction event where money or value changes hands.

Changes That Will Stick With Accounting Long After The Pandemic Is Over

In addition, auditors should step back and consider looking further to respond to the particular auditing challenges that the coronavirus’ causes for companies and their reporting. Just as big data plays a crucial role across many sectors, it fills the same significant role in the accounting industry. Big data supports companies and firms through expanded assessment methods, with accountants and finance experts working behind the scenes. Professionals identify which of the collected data are the most valuable and then turn them into actionable insights. This makes it crucial to understand what big data is in making business decisions.

Coronavirus resources for European accountants from our Member Bodies, regulators, firms and others can be found on on our online hub. Further coronavirus related content from Accountancy Europe is available here. The auditor needs ensure that management’s disclosures appropriately describe the company’s prospects and how financial statements’ users might be affected. Auditors need to also consider their responsibilities in relation to other information presented by management with the financial statements. This is covered in ISA 720 The auditor’s responsibilities related to other information.

Anticipating And Addressing Evolving Needs

This has resulted in the changing face of many business practices and a pivoting of services in order to survive. In truth, the year has for the most part been a continuation of 2020, made more challenging with a no-deal Brexit, supply chain issues, unique cashflow challenges, rising costs and staff shortages. In the first quarter of 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak developed rapidly causing a worldwide pandemic, with a significant number of infections arising in different nations of the world, including Nigeria. The outbreak was declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization in March 2020. Several nations and states had to declare a state of emergency due to its widespread impact. But now is the time to shift your gaze away from just getting through each day, to thinking longer-term. Prior to COVID-19, United Kingdom-based firms had the lowest percentage of remote workers, with just 25% working from home.

How The Pandemic Is Affecting The Accounting Industry

The AICPA’s FAQs — Audit Matters and Auditor Reporting Issues Related to COVID‐19is an excellent resource. The SEC’s thoughts are included in its Statement on the Importance of High-Quality Financial Reporting in Light of the Significant Impacts of COVID-19.

Many Want And Expect The Remote Work Shift To Stay

If they had been wrestling with the need and cost of digital transformation at the start of the year, the pandemic lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders clearly demonstrated the need for investment, driving many into action. Prior to the pandemic, many larger firms were well underway in the process of digitizing their documents; smaller firms were just getting started or only part way through. But the pandemic forced everyone to move to a new way of conducting audits. And cloud-based data-extraction systems were immediately put to the test.

  • While businesses grappled with the economic upheaval brought about by the pandemic, CPAs stepped in to help by identifying clients’ needs based on their existing knowledge of their businesses.
  • Very few firms had to either furlough or permanently lay off employees.
  • Additionally, while working virtually will not solve the labor shortage, it will certainly ease some of the pain by allowing firms to retain employees who have to move cities for personal reasons and to attract candidates from other parts of the country.
  • Even small accounting errors, often paired controls failures, can tank a company’s stock price.
  • A lot of accounting firms have told me that they are significantly reducing their real estate footprint.

Coordinating financial and non-financial information systems in order to provide the results our clients require involves an inter-disciplined approach. Accountants are better prepared to work with marketing data than marketing executive would be to work with accounting data. Give accountants the right cloud based software tools for the job and that opens an entirely new realm of client service possibilities. What lies ahead might be the transition of accounting from the traditional pipeline business model to the new digital platform business model that Sangeet Paul Choudary keeps talking about. There are benefits to mine from the advanced solutions brought by the recent developments in the accounting sector. Among these are saving time, making tasks more efficient, and having more accurate analytics. Other than these, however, reducing costs is one of the significant benefits that companies and accounting firms experience as they embrace the latest technologies to optimize processes.

In our digital world an examination of all the communications and transmissions before, during, and after that exchange event would reveal most of what happened. Security in today’s digital world for that exchange event requires we think about extending secure practices to all these lessor events. Accounting leaders are consequently adapting to the trend of allowing employees to engage in remote work. According to a 2020 survey published by Arizent, 85% of CPA firms will allow their firms to work from home even after the pandemic .

How The Pandemic Is Affecting The Accounting Industry

Anecdotal comments included a belief among parents and students that AI will replace the need for accountants. The onset of AI was seen as both a challenge and an opportunity, noting the need for shifts in mindset, including repositioning accountants to be more advisory with the potential for new business lines or services to emerge. We support the development, adoption, and implementation of high-quality international standards. So when all is said and done, we learned that accounting firms are nimble, had a better-than-expected 2020, and expect to have a good 2021.

Manage The Business Risks Behind Cybersecurity

Indeed, such projections could change significantly in a short space of time. It’s essential for the auditor to use professional judgement and scepticism. They need to exercise care to ensure that any projections reflect the situation as, and when, an audit report is to be signed.

Communication Is Key

Thus, there is no need for in-house accounting services to worry about getting replaced by bots. Most services in the accounting industry are vulnerable to disruptions . Among the inflationary factors that were of top concern for accounting firms in 2020 were the cost of raw materials (39%) and labor costs (31%) . These future trends in the accounting profession reflect these developments.

About 67% of accountants think cloud-based solutions make their jobs easier. Outsourcing accounting functions is becoming more significant for businesses and CPA firms. © 2022 KPMG LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. Digital University also involves working on real-world problems that help solve client issues.

About 75% of Nick Swedberg’s clients are restaurants and small craft breweries in Minnesota. These types of businesses were “some of the hardest hit” during the pandemic shutdowns, he said. Knowledge of their clients’ finances, giving them the opportunity to offer greater strategic perspective on clients’ businesses. Here’s how CPAs working with clients in affected sectors used CAS to enable their clients to reimagine what’s possible. BDO USA, LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership, is the U.S. member of BDO International Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, and forms part of the international BDO network of independent member firms.