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COVID-19 resources

This year, preparers face the additional demands of producing high-quality reports against the backdrop of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic consequences. In a continually changing and uncertain economic environment, both the FRC and ESMA highlight the importance of entity-specific and transparent disclosures regarding the impact that COVID-19 has had on the performance, position and cash flows of the entity. The FRC’s Annual Review of Corporate Reporting, its letter to Audit Committee Chairs and Finance Directors, and ESMA’s Common Enforcement Priorities provide guidance on appropriate reporting and meeting investor expectations during the pandemic and highlight other areas of regulatory scrutiny that reporters of all sizes should focus on in the coming reporting season.  Recent Lab reports also highlight investor expectations for reporting in the current environment.  In particular the FRC expects disclosures to:

  • Clearly describe the impact of COVID-19 on the company’s position and performance with quantification where possible.
  • Include relevant sensitivities or ranges of possible outcomes where judgements are made on significant estimation uncertainties
  • Quantify the historical effect of COVID-19 in narrative reporting in the strategic report. In doing so companies are ‘strongly encouraged’ not to disclose arbitrary splits of items between COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 but instead apply existing accounting policies for exceptional items.
  • Clearly articulate the impact of COVID-19 on their business and strategies using consistent assumptions to those used in other areas such as going concern, viability, impairment testing and recognition of deferred tax assets.
  • Disclose any significant judgements made in determining whether or not there is a material uncertainty in relation to going concern to be disclosed and explained.
  • Describe and explain any other significant judgements and estimates made especially with regards impairment reviews.

This page includes our resources related to COVID-19.  It includes links to:

Related resources

COVID-19 accounting tool for governments

22 Jul 2020

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), the Zurich University of Applied Science (ZHAW), and the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) have published a tool for governments and other interested stakeholders to apply best practices in public sector accounting when analysing COVID-19-related intervention programs.

IFAC calls on G20 leaders to strengthen reporting in their long-term recovery from COVID-19

21 Jul 2020

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has called on G20 leaders to strengthen commitments to sustainability, transparency, integrity, regulatory consistency, and global collaboration.

FRC publishes thematic review findings on financial reporting effects of COVID-19

21 Jul 2020

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has published the results of a thematic review looking at company reporting since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

ESMA statement on supervisory coordination on accounting for COVID-19-related rent concessions

21 Jul 2020

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued a public statement recommending coordination of supervisory action with regards to issuers’ accounting for COVID-19-related rent concessions.

Podcast on the public sector and the coronacrisis (part 2)

21 Jul 2020

Accountancy Europe has released a second podcast on the wider repercussions of COVID-19 for the public sector. The new podcasts discusses the long-term actions required to help overcome the effects of COVID-19.

On the board agenda – half year 2020

15 Jul 2020

This half year update is a timely summary of some important areas for board focus as we enter the second half of 2020 and start to emerge from the unprecedented lockdown of our lives and our economy.

IASB defers effective date of IAS 1 amendments

15 Jul 2020

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has published 'Classification of Liabilities as Current or Non-current — Deferral of Effective Date (Amendment to IAS 1)' deferring the effective date of the January 2020 amendments to IAS 1 by one year.

IPSASB proposes to delay effective dates

15 Jul 2020

The IPSASB has published Exposure Draft 73 'Covid-19: Deferral of Effective Dates' proposing to delay the effective dates of recently published standards and amendments by one year to 1 January 2023. The ED is a response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and intended to provide stakeholders with additional implementation time.

Accounting considerations in response to COVID-19 — Leases

14 Jul 2020

COVID-19 has led many lessors to provide relief to lessees by deferring or relieving them of amounts that would otherwise be payable. In some cases this is through negotiation between the parties, but can also be as a consequence of a government encouraging or requiring that the relief be provided. IFRS 16 requires lessees to assess whether changes to lease contracts are lease modifications as this term is defined in the Standard and, if so, the lessee must remeasure the lease liability using a revised discount rate. This video explains the amendments made in response to the current economic climate.

Financial Reporting Lab calls for participants in a new Lab project: reporting on stakeholders and Section 172 disclosures

13 Jul 2020

The Financial Reporting Lab has called on investors and companies to participate in a new project on corporate disclosures on stakeholders, including statements in response to Section 172 of the Companies Act.

FRC publishes the results of its review of audit firms' going concern policies and procedures

08 Jul 2020

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has published the results of its review of the seven largest UK audit firms' policies and procedures in relation to going concern, in light of COVID-19.

2020 update on half-yearly financial reporting

02 Jul 2020

The 2020 version of Deloitte's guide to half-yearly financial reporting provides an invaluable source of guidance for those companies preparing half-yearly financial reports in 2020.

IAASB guidance on accounting estimates

29 Jun 2020

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has released COVID-19 pandemic-related guidance on auditing accounting estimates and related disclosures.

Accounting considerations in response to COVID 19 — Profit or loss statements

24 Jun 2020

In this webcast, we look at the presentation of COVID-19-related items in the statement of profit or loss. The impact of COVID-19 may give rise to material expense or income items for many entities, for example, restructuring provisions and impairment losses related to non-financial assets. Entities may identify and quantify such discrete items, they should be disclosed separately either in the statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income or in the notes to the financial statements, with appropriate explanation of those amounts. Watch the video series to learn more.

Accounting considerations in response to COVID-19 — Going concern

22 Jun 2020

Financial statements are prepared on a going concern basis unless management intends either to liquidate the entity or to cease trading, or has no realistic alternative but to do so. The effects from COVID-19 are disrupting operations of many businesses. Watch this video to learn more.

Accounting considerations in response to COVID-19 — IAS 34 — Interim financial reporting

22 Jun 2020

An interim financial report prepared applying IAS 34 is meant to provide an update on the latest complete set of annual financial statements with a focus on new activities, events and circumstances. An entity applies the same accounting policies in its interim report as those applied in its annual financial statements except for accounting policy changes. This video explains items to consider when preparing interim financial reports applying IAS 34.

Need to know — COVID-19 and financial reporting under IFRS Standards

19 Jun 2020

This Need to know is addressed to high level executives and audit committees and takes a strategic look at what are likely to be the most common hot topics for the upcoming financial reports, whether annual or interim.

FRC Lab reports on current questions investors seek answers on

15 Jun 2020

Two new reports from the Financial Reporting Lab of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) provide practical guidance to companies in areas of reporting that investors have highlighted as being most critical in these times of unparalleled economic uncertainty.

London Stock Exchange announces temporary extension for publication of half-yearly reports for AIM companies

12 Jun 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the London Stock Exchange has announced that AIM companies can have an additional month to finalise their half-yearly reports

PRA publishes guidance on the application of IFRS 9 for payment deferrals

12 Jun 2020

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) has sent a letter to chief executive officers of UK banks providing guidance on how to account for the ending of initial payment deferrals offered due to COVID-19.

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