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Impacts of COVID-19 on financial reporting

Financial reporting considerations for directors, trustees and executives

The COVID 19 pandemic is significantly affecting economic and financial markets, and virtually all industries are facing challenges associated with the economic conditions resulting from efforts to address it.  As the pandemic increases in both magnitude and duration, entities are experiencing conditions often associated with a general economic downturn. This includes, but is not limited to, financial market volatility and erosion, deteriorating credit, liquidity concerns, further increases in government intervention, increasing unemployment, broad declines in consumer discretionary spending, increasing inventory levels, reductions in production because of decreased demand, layoffs and other restructuring activities. This has significant impacts on the judgments required in financial reporting. The nature of the issues encountered will vary by industry and by entity but the issues addressed in this series will be some of the more common.

The challenges in valuing unlisted assets in the current environment have been well publicised. Uncertainty in relation to the inputs to those valuations is greater than at any point in the memory of most, including during the GFC. In this paper, we highlight some of the governance questions directors and senior executives should consider when determining asset values for this reporting period.

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In this paper, we highlight some of the governance questions directors and senior executives need to consider when determining the ECL allowance for this reporting period.

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As Australia faces continuing uncertainty in relation to both the health and economic impacts of COVID-19, directors are rightly concerned about how their companies will be affected and what they have to do fulfil their obligations under the Corporations Act 2001, specifically as it relates to the going concern assessment.

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