AICPA issues audit and accounting guidance FAQs on COVID-19

By Jeff Drew

A new AICPA report provides nonauthoritative guidance addressing frequently asked audit and accounting questions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The report, Audit Matters and Auditor Reporting Issues Related to COVID‐19, has been compiled to aid (1) practitioners performing audit engagement during these uncertain times; and (2) preparers of financial statements. The guidance does not apply to the preparation and issuance of audit reports that fall under the jurisdiction of the PCAOB and does not address accounting, disclosures, and reporting nuances for public companies.   

Issues covered by the report fall under three main categories and cover the following topics: 

General accounting, auditing, and reporting matters:

  • Risk and uncertainties;
  • Subsequent events; and
  • Going concern.

Audit and auditor reporting specific matters:

  • Inventory observations;
  • Fraud inquiries;
  • Access to books and records;
  • Internal control;
  • Use of external confirmations;
  • Planning meetings;
  • Management representation letters; and
  • Emphasis-of-matter paragraphs and types of auditor’s reports.

Accounting and financial reporting specific matters:

  • Fair value of investments;
  • Asset impairments;
  • Unusual or infrequent events; and
  • Deferred tax assets.

This report will be updated as additional questions are collected through various AICPA sources and channels. 

AICPA staff developed the guidance in the report, and the views expressed are intended to provide member services, but not for the purposes of providing accounting services or practicing public accounting.

For more news and reporting on the coronavirus and how CPAs can handle challenges related to the outbreak, visit the JofA’s coronavirus resources page.

Jeff Drew ( is a JofA senior editor.

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