October 5, 2020
The KPMG Audit Committee Institute surveyed more than 100 U.S. audit committee members to better understand how COVID-19 is impacting their committee oversight and operations. The following are key findings from the survey:
- The uncertain trajectory of COVID-19 and the economy—coupled with the extensive use of forward-looking information in financial statements and SEC filings—have made disclosures regarding the current and potential effects of COVID-19 a top area of focus.
- Companies are reassessing, enhancing, or establishing new internal controls due to COVID-19-related disruption to business operations.
- Internal auditors are adjusting their audit plans and activities.
- Audit committee members expect some environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues to get significantly more attention from the board as a result of COVID-19 and recent protests against systemic racism.
- COVID-19 has prompted many audit committees to reassess the scope of their workload/agendas and risk oversight responsibilities.
- Audit committee members say the remote work environment necessitated by COVID-19 has had little impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of their interactions with management and auditors.