FRC COVID-19 Response

FRC COVID-19 Response

Please see all updates issued by the FRC with regards to the COVID-19 Virus response categorised by stakeholder.

We will add future releases as they are published.

There is also a list of further (external) sources of information and publications whcih may be of use - please see the Resources for Stakeholders section, for further information.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) have today announced a series of actions to ensure that information continues to flow to investors and to support the continued functioning of the UK’s capital markets.  
The FRC has published guidance for companies preparing financial statements and a bulletin for auditors covering factors to be taken into account when carrying out audits during the current Covid-19 crisis.     
The guidance for companies highlights the need to agree new working practices if the usual forms of management and control are disrupted, and reminds Boards of the detailed consideration they need to give to capital maintenance.  It addresses the difficulties companies currently face in making forward-looking judgements in their financial statements: for example, in strategic reports and viability statements, with a focus on appropriate disclosure of material uncertainties and going concern issues.    
The bulletin reminds auditors that they must obtain sufficient, appropriate audit evidence to support their audit opinion. However, in the current circumstances, they will need to consider the use of alternative procedures, including remote working and technology to obtain that evidence. This will not work in all circumstances and it is likely that there will be more modified opinions arising from the impact of COVID-19 on businesses.
In response to the unprecedented challenges raised by the crisis, the FRC will, where possible, delay or extend the deadlines for consultations; it has paused for at least a month writing to companies following its review of their annual reports and accounts; it is considering how it can adjust its audit quality review work to reduce demands on audit firms; and it will pause for at least a month requests to firms on supervisory initiatives, such as operational separation of audit practices.

David Rule, Executive Director of Supervision at the FRC, said:
“The current Covid-19 pandemic presents very real difficulties to companies and their auditors.  The package of measures today is designed to give both the ability to consider the impact of Covid-19 more comprehensively in the light of government and other responses and provide markets and investors with the information they need to make informed decisions.  
“The FRC is monitoring developments closely and maintaining frequent and regular contact with audit firms and other regulators. We will update our guidance as and when necessary, and withdraw these special measures when circumstances return to normal.”

A link to the company guidance can be viewed here
A link to the audit bulletin can be viewed here
A link to the joint regulators statement can be viewed here

Consolidated guidance for auditors (December 2020) 
The FRC has now consolidated its covid guidance for auditors which supersedes all previous guidance. 

Measures in respect of Company filings, AGMs and other general meetings during Covid-19 
Measures in respect of Company filings, AGMs and other general meetings during Covid-19 On 28 March 2020, the Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma MP, announced that the Government would, as soon as possible, bring forward legislation to assist those companies for which COVID-19 restrictions make it difficult to meet statutory obligations to hold meetings and to file documentation on the Companies Register. Those measures are being developed urgently. The following Q&A is designed to provide companies with additional information upon which to plan activities over the coming months.(17 April)

AGM's & COVID-19   Guidance on how to arrange and conduct AGMs in light of Covid-19 has been published by ICSA (The Chartered Governance Institute) in conjunction with the FRC and Slaughter & May. (9 April)(Revised) 

Corporate Reporting Moratorium The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has requested that all listed companies observe a moratorium on the publication of preliminary financial statements for at least two weeks. The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has worked closely with the FCA and other regulatory bodies over the past few weeks and fully supports the FCA’s request. (23 March)

Extended Filing Guidance 
Updated advice on company accounts filing (19 March)

AGM's & COVID-19  
Guidance on how to arrange and conduct AGMs in light of Covid-19 has been published by ICSA (The Chartered Governance Institute) in conjunction with the FRC and Slaughter & May.
(18 March)

Consolidated guidance for companies and investors (December 2020) 
The FRC has now consolidated all covid guidance for companies and investors which supersedes previous guidance. 

Government Business Support 
General UK Government Support for Businesses during COVID-19 (Updated 20 April)
Stay Home - Stay Safe 
On behalf  of Public Health England (25 March)









EU Technical Expert Group (TEG) on Sustainable Finance














Other resources


Accountancy Europe