News May Covid-19 Update 7 May 2020

Covid-19 Update 7 May 2020

07 May 2020
The FRC is maintaining business as usual as much as possible across our range of activities during the Covid 19 crisis. Our staff continue to work from home. We will follow advice from health professionals and continue to observe Government guidelines on social distancing. We will to review this situation in line with official instructions.

Throughout this crisis we have maintained an open dialogue with stakeholders and listened carefully to their concerns. We took these conversations into consideration when we reviewed the pause that we had placed on some of our supervisory demands on audit firms, professional bodies and companies. 

We have now decided that it is appropriate and necessary for this work to resume. Our Audit Quality Review, Corporate Reporting and Professional Oversight teams will resume their full programme of supervisory work from 11 May. This will include correspondence from our Corporate Reporting Team to companies in relation to their financial statements. In addition to this, we will also resume our inspection and supervisory work with audit firms: for example, on achieving operational separation.  
While our work will require responses from audit firms, companies and professional bodies, we recognise the continued demands imposed by the crisis. We will relax our expectations regarding the deadlines for these responses where necessary.

We propose only to issue new material that is essential at this stage. This is likely to include two consultations on UK GAAP and the publication of an updated Risk Perspective by the Joint Forum for Actuarial Regulation, subject to the agreement of members of the Forum.

The FRC continues to work with other regulatory authorities, auditors, preparers and other stakeholders, and will develop further guidance to address Covid-19 related issues as the situation continues to develop.

We continue to progress investigations and enforcement action while taking the current situation into account when requesting information and documents, and in responding to requests for timing extensions. We recognise that the situation is affecting the availability of individuals both within and without the FRC and that this impacts timing.

We continue to make progress on our journey towards becoming the Audit Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA) by taking forwards work on the recommendations of the Independent Review of the FRC, The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) review and Sir Donald Brydon’s review into the quality and effectiveness of audit. A more detailed update on this was issued on 1 May 2020.

We will keep the situation under review and update stakeholders on anything that changes as and when necessary.

In the meantime, we thank you for your patience and understanding. The FRC switchboard is unavailable during this time so please email your usual contact or