The coronavirus (SARS-CoV-19) pandemic continues to spread in many countries, including in Europe. The World Health Organization (link is external) (WHO) and national authorities can be consulted for the health implications on people. This crisis also has significant economic effects on companies, for example due to restrictions in production, trade and consumption or due to travel bans.
These economic effects have an impact on accounting, reporting and auditing financial statements of the companies or groups concerned. This publication highlights some of these potential implications. However, the impact on companies will differ and companies, and their auditors, have to consider how it affects their business and review them regularly.
The United Kingdom (UK) left the European Union’s (EU) single market on 1 January 2021. The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) was agreed on 24 December but many detailed aspects of Brexit remain unclear. However, from that date, the UK becomes as far as the EU is concerned a ‘third country’. Businesses have become importers and exporters between the EU and the UK and they need to take urgent action to minimise the disruption to their business.
This Q&A provides practical information on the main changes known at mid-January 2021.
Accountants – many of whom are small practitioners themselves – are SMEs’ trusted advisors. The corona crisis is a critical time where SMEs need all the guidance they can get to navigate through the storm.
We call on SME accountants and small accountancy practices to help struggling SMEs through these difficult times.
Many of these steps will also be relevant to small accountancy practices and practitioners themselves.
Global risks and opportunities mean that financial information alone cannot give a full picture of a company’s performance. Climate change, environmental degradation, social unrest and internally generated intangibles are addressed by non-financial information (NFI) reporting. However, the hundreds of NFI reporting initiatives available are leading to confusion and the potential for greenwashing. For an effective response to these global issues and stakeholder demands, NFI reporting needs to be harmonised and interconnected with financial reporting.
This thought leadership paper introduces nine criteria and applies them to four approaches to interconnected standard setting for corporate reporting. It sets out the vision of our independent task force and offers ideas on how we can make progress towards a global corporate reporting structure.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, most countries in Europe and beyond are in lockdown. Many of the restrictions applied resulted in pausing most business activities.
Following our previous publication Coronavirus crisis: implications on reporting and auditing, and the numerous guidelines issued in different countries, we provide below a summary of the country responses to the implications on company reporting as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, focusing on:
Measures taken to contain the coronavirus affect us all. This publication focuses on how this impacts businesses and the people that audit them. It aims to support European auditors in adapting their work to new circumstances in ongoing audits with 2019 year-ends and beyond. To this end we have analysed corona crisis related auditing guidance, as issued by global and national regulators and professional institutes. We highlight the following main matters for auditors to consider:
As the situation evolves, we will keep collecting new guidance on our webpage Coronavirus resources for European accountants.
Following the 2013 Accounting Directive, small EU companies are no longer required to have a statutory audit. However, the EU legislation allows Member States to impose an audit on their small companies based on their specific circumstances.
This publication follows up on our 2016 factsheet and presents the current audit exemption thresholds in Europe and how several countries have recently amended them.
Our survey results show that four EU countries have lowered their audit exemption thresholds while four countries have increased them between 2016 and 2020. Overall, there was no clear upward or downward trend in the development of the thresholds in this period. We also found diverging national policies and views on auditing smaller entities.
The European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) will become effective as from 2020. This is a significant step forward for the accessibility and comparability of the financial information of the issuers on EU regulated markets. It is now up to each EU Member State to develop the implementation of ESEF and to maximise the benefits digitalisation can offer.
This document has been prepared by Accountancy Europe together with the European Contact Group (ECG) as a contribution to ESEF implementation efforts. Investor protection and the public interest have been the overarching principles applied while drafting this document. It sets outs specific considerations along with practical implications which may assist auditors in their role to provide an assurance conclusion in connection with ESEF.
This feedback analysis paper follows up on the Cogito* project Interconnected standard setting for corporate reporting (December 2019). This Cogito built the case for global interconnected standards to address non-financial information (NFI) topics such as climate change, environmental degradation, human rights and social concerns.
A significant achievement of this project is the exclusive statement (p. 14) from CDP, Climate Disclosure Standards Board, Global Reporting Initiative and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, which confirms their commitment to working together towards a globally harmonised system. This answers stakeholders’ calls for NFI initiatives to move more decisively towards convergence.
More than four years after the implementation deadline, we present an updated state of play in 30 European countries, including 27 EU Member States, Iceland, Norway and the United Kingdom. We have further analysed the countries’ decisions and visualised the outcomes for the key options regarding:
To provide a better overview and make information easier to understand, information on non-audit services, mandatory audit firm rotation and public oversight is displayed in a more detailed way.