A Quick Guide to Impact of COVID 19 on Financial Reporting
Author: Santosh Maller
2020 has been a year shaped up by Coronavirus (COVID-19). This pandemic has resulted in widespread economic uncertainty and disruption of businesses across the world. There have been far reaching implications on financial reporting and this may continue for next couple of years. These circumstances potentially present entities with several challenges when preparing their financial statements for year ended 31 March 2021 and subsequent financial results.
This book covers some of the key financial reporting implications that companies need to consider and, also, possible approaches that they may consider to dealing with the same keeping in view the business objectives, financial covenants and the accounting standards.
Key consideration under COVID-19 for financial reporting consist of: asset impairment; inventory valuations and write downs; revenue recognition; debt covenants and debt servicing; lease rental concessions; foreign exchange accounting and losses/gains due to extreme volatility; litigation resulting from contractual defaults, invocation of force majeure clauses and potential exposure; Insurance claims for losses during shutdown period or loss of lives; and going concern.
The Companies shall ensure that they provide sufficient disclosures in the notes to the financial statements with information about the entity that's useful to existing and potential investors, creditors, lenders, and other stakeholders. This book highlights the existing financial reporting requirements under Companies (Indian Accounting Standards) Rules, 2015 and Companies (Accounting Standards) Rules, 2006 that should be considered when addressing the financial effects of COVID 19 when preparing annual financial statements and possible audit approaches that can be considered relevant.
The role of auditors at this stage would be under increased scrutiny as the auditors have responsibility to complete the audit work in accordance with professional standards and ethics requirements. Under the current circumstances, auditors must recognize that the manner in which they conducted the audits in the past may need significant modification to address the challenges and uncertainties arising out of the impact of COVID-19. Additionally, irrespective of the challenges and uncertainties, there should not be any dilution in the reporting or non-compliance with the auditing standards in carrying out the audits.
This book is an attempt to cover the requirements of the accounting standards and auditing standards, with illustrative examples and COVID-19 related extracts from published financial statements of companies.