The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA) has released an Audit Committee Checklist for COVID-19 that provides questions for audit committee members to consider as they perform their oversight, risk management and governance functions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The format of the checklist allows it to be utilized by a broad swath of entities, including public companies, private companies, not-for-profit entities and governmental entities.
Though not intended to be all-inclusive, the checklist’s questions are aimed at key areas of consideration for audit committees that are intended to be discussed openly with senior management, key members of the financial management team and internal and external auditors. The questions are grouped into five key areas that typically fall within an audit committee’s purview:
- Risk Management;
- Entity Operations, Including Culture;
- Impacts of New Legislation;
- Financial Reporting and Disclosures; and
- Technology and Cybersecurity.
By using open-ended questions, the checklist enables audit committees to identify areas where there could be a weakness due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has the potential to become an issue. The checklist can serve as a helpful tool in determining where an audit committee should focus its attention, particularly as governance structures and audit committee responsibilities evolve in light of the ongoing pandemic.1
1 For an additional resource, audit committees, particularly of public companies, may also want to consider the COVID-19 Resource of Key Auditor and Audit Committee Considerations, published by the Center for Audit Quality.