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Preview on How Coronavirus Impacting Auditors

Written by : Kamila Pramaputri

Designed by: Muhammad Farhan Fajarmukti

 

These serious conditions during the pandemic for almost 5 months (from Maret until July 2020), since the government imposed physical social distancing, lockdowns, and provided rules for offices to do work from home are really disrupting economic activities. But, do those mean a holiday for auditors during this restrictions due to pandemic? Far from it. 

Only time will tell when the world starts recovering from the severe impact of COVID-19 pandemic. Governments are taking dramatic actions, such as emergency laws, lockdowns, or even travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus. “They [government] are spending tremendous resources to purchase emergency medical equipment and supplies, build hospitals and morgues, provide stimulus funds to pay the underprivileged, and boost the economy”, cited from worldbank.org. Auditors, in this particular Supreme Audit Agency (BPK RI), are in charge of controlling and checking the government’s response to the pandemic in terms of financial statements. This must be done to mitigate risks and minimize fraud or corruption.

On the other hand, travel restrictions related to the coronavirus outbreak could limit the work of external auditors, possibly leading to incomplete reports. Some businesses which are most affected by this pandemic, such as airlines, tourism, and hotels, may require serious attention to evaluate its performance. Due to the restrictions, the auditors’ work is limited in conducting discussion and investigating audit evidence to make disclosures related to risks and uncertainties. Whereas, evaluating company’s performance and financial condition is important so the company can realize the going concern principle of its business.

The world is experiencing great pause on economy to suppress the spread of the virus, including Indonesia. The limitations of daily works that we face lead to the vulnerability of risks and uncertainties. Hence, auditors need to improve the quality of their work through technology and escalate the sense of integrity to face the challenges during and post pandemic.

The tasks of auditors are getting tougher in the midst of this pandemic condition. The auditors profession has grown with its professional standards and guidelines on audit even in disaster management. But COVID-19 will inevitably take this to the next level, requiring enhancement in creativity, technology, and smarter audit practices. We will bring this topic to our series of events of The 20th ATV with parties who are experts in their fields. 

References:

https://blogs.worldbank.org/governance/what-does-coronavirus-pandemic-mean-supreme-audit-institutions

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-coronavirus-could-disrupt-the-auditing-of-companies-11580772000

https://dentons.hprplawyers.com/en/insights/articles/2020/march/31/new-policies-and-regulations-by-the-government-of-indonesia