The National Audit Office (NAO) has published ‘Guide for Audit and Risk Committees on Financial Reporting and Management during COVID-19’.

Useful for companies, the guide’s main aim is to help government departments and arms-length bodies advise their organisations on financial management during, and in the period immediately after, the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The guide provides key questions for audit and risk committee members and flags areas of concern across four areas.

  • Annual Reports.
    • Performance.
    • Accountability.
  • Financial Reporting.
    • Property valuations.
    • Pension scheme valuations.
    • Inventory valuations.
    • Liabilities.
    • Going concern.
  • Control Environment.
    • Remote working.
    • IT systems.
  • Regularity of expenditure.

The NAO accepted that companies and organisations will have existing risk management processes in place, but point out that risk appetite may have changed as a result of COVID-19.

This change in process could result in a weakening of controls in some areas and also increase the likelihood of other risks occurring. In each section of the guide, the NAO set out some questions to help audit and risk committee members to understand and challenge activities.

This guide is part of a programme undertaken by the National Audit Office to support Parliament in its scrutiny of the UK government’s response to COVID-19. It is not an exhaustive report and the NAO warns that organisations to familiarise themselves with the underlying guidance where relevant.

Links

Client briefing: How to avoid penalties for carelessness?
Client briefing: how to avoid penalties for carelessness when preparing your tax return?

Directors' responsibilities and duties
At a glance. Thinking about becoming a director? This note outlines your role. 

External link

Guide for Audit and Risk Committees on Financial Reporting and Management during COVID-19
The PDF download of the full NAO guide.

 

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