The impact of Covid-19 on accounting firms and audits

Nov 29, 2020 11:59:59 AM | 22 min read

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Are you curious about how Covid-19 has affected audits and auditors? Suralink recently conducted a survey of 65 firms of all sizes and how their business has adapted to the challenges presented by Covid-19. 

First, it’s no secret that 2020 has seen unprecedented changes in the way people across the world work. In fact, according to Gallup, 62% of employed Americans say they have worked from home during the crisis, a number that doubled between mid-March and April 2020. And there’s no reason to believe that the world hasn’t changed for good. Experts are predicting that even after the initial pandemic has passed, businesses and consumers will never completely revert to pre-Covid behaviors.

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According to our survey, the number of SaaS-based audit engagements increased by more than 50% year over year (during the period between March 1 and May 31). 

Here are a few other highlights of the survey:

  • 73.85% reported that Covid-19 has increased the amount of time it takes to complete an audit
  • 12.31% of firms increased hiring while 20% of firms reported a hiring freeze, a decrease in hiring, or layoffs
  • 67.69% of firms reported no change in hiring practices due to Covid-19
  • 32.31% of firms reported that their employees are completely remote while 60% are partially remote
  • Only 7.69% of firms reported that employees are completely in-office
  • 30.77% of firms have no immediate plans to return to the office
  • While 32.31% of firms reported that their decision to stay remote or return to in-office work depends on outside conditions

In other words, more firms are completing more engagements virtually—and will need to continue that trend into the near future.