Canadian securities regulators publish findings of COVID-19 disclosure review

Feb 25, 2021

On February 25, 2021, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) published key findings of recently completed reviews of issuers’ COVID-19 disclosure. Guidance and disclosure examples have been provided to assist issuers with reporting on the impacts of COVID-19 to their business and operations.

A majority of issuers reviewed provided detailed, quality disclosure. This included affected issuers significantly expanding their Management Discussion and Analysis section (MD&A) to explain the impact of COVID-19 to their industry, operations, customers and suppliers. Most issuers also adequately disclosed impairments of non-financial assets in light of deterioration in their business since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CSA staff identified some areas where disclosure could be improved, including issuers needing to provide more discussion of entity-specific measures taken to reduce the COVID-19 impact on their business. The review also revealed instances where issuers provided unbalanced or overly promotional disclosure, as well as isolated instances of non-compliance of non-GAAP measures and forward-looking information.

CSA staff reviewed the continuous disclosure filings of approximately 90 issuers across a broad spectrum of industries and size of operations, focusing on the disclosures of the most recent reporting period ending September 30, 2020. As a result of the reviews, some issuers required no action, while other issuers were requested to make prospective disclosure enhancements.

The CSA will continue to closely monitor issuers’ continuous disclosure filings in relation to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of the CSA’s ongoing continuous disclosure review program.

Further regulatory guidance to assist issuers with their COVID-19 disclosure can be found on the CSA COVID-19 Information Hub.

Review the press release on the CSA's website and the CSA Notice 51-362 Staff Review of COVID-19 Disclosures and Guide for Disclosure Improvements on CSA members’ websites.

COVID-19 and Going Concern: What the accounting standards require

May 20, 2021

On May 20, 2021, the Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) released going concern resources for IFRS Standards, ASPE and Accounting Standards for Not-for-Profit Organizations to help navigate potential challenges associated with going concern assessments.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause considerable deterioration in economic conditions for many organizations. With significant organizations profiled in news stories for insolvencies, bankruptcies, and other financial difficulties, it’s more important than ever to keep going concern top of mind.

Review the resources on the AcSB's website.

COVID-19 year-end reminders for auditors: Q&A with Canada’s audit regulator

Mar 10, 2021

Audits will be more challenging this year, but what specific matters should auditors focus on in order to deliver high-quality audits? CPA Canada published this blog for key insights from Angelo Giardina, the director in the Thought Leadership group at the Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB).

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic uncertainty has impacted entities around the world. It has also affected how auditors plan and execute their audits. Yet despite the number of challenges to overcome, the delivery of high-quality audits is paramount.

With busy-season upon us, and year-end engagements underway, CPA Canada reached out to Angelo Giardina to discuss issues that are causing audits to be more challenging this year given the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic—not only for larger accounting firms, but also for small and medium-sized practitioners.

Review the blog on the CPA Canada's website.

Four business orthodoxies to challenge in 2021

Jan 08, 2021

COVID-19 has forced many organizations to upend standard ways of doing business. Some of these deep-rooted practices should have been challenged long ago, says Dan Helfrich, chairman and CEO of Deloitte Consulting LLP.

In 2020, many organizations dramatically changed operations and processes in response to the pandemic. Amid massive economic and societal upheaval, companies had to pivot quickly and redesign workflows, decision-making processes, supply chains, and business models. Many organizations found that traditional business beliefs no longer applied.

While the shift was highly disruptive, some of these tenets were overdue for a rethink. In the new year, leaders can better position their organizations for recovery and improve them in the long run by questioning long-standing business doctrines.

Review the full article.

IESBA COVID-19 Working Group: 5 Ethical Challenges that Will Intensify as the Pandemic Wanes

May 10, 2021

On May 10, 2021, the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) released an article examining several ethics considerations that will be especially pressure tested during this period of recovery.

A working group formed by the IESBA and national ethics standard setters (NSS) from Australia, Canada, China, South Africa, the UK and the US has released 5 Ethical Challenges that Will Intensify as the Pandemic Wanes, a look at the key ethical issues that lie ahead for professional accountants as the COVID-19 pandemic moves into the next phase. This informative, deep-dive article revisits many of the topics the working group cited previously as ethical challenges brought on by the pandemic and provides updated context and insights to help the professional accountant navigate a continually evolving economic and societal recovery.

Review the press release and article on the IESBA's website.

IVSC paper on challenges to market value

Feb 01, 2021

The International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC) published a perspectives paper "Challenges to Market Value" that looks at the challenges in relation to the availability of market information in a pandemic world.

The paper notes that the current coronavirus epidemic has created a significant layer of uncertainty which has permeated all markets. While this is not necessarily just confined to the basis of market value, however, it still raises its own specific challenges:

  • How does the valuer quantify market value with a lack of market comparable information in the new COVID-19 world?
  • Where market comparable information is available, have the parties ‘acted knowledgeably, prudently and without compulsion’?
  • Does a pandemic environment enable parties to undertake ‘proper marketing’ or do sales that are witnessed in the early stages of such an event represent an environment comprised of overly willing sellers and opportunistic buyers that is more aligned with a liquidation market?

Review the perspectives paper on the IVSC's website.

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