At the start of 2020, none of us could have imagined the position we would be in today; the full team working from home, our clients making difficult decisions on a daily and weekly basis to protect their businesses and the only contact with each other being via a camera and microphone. Where we currently stand at the start of June 2020, it may look like it is possible that we will be able to return to our o
wn offices in the near future, however, face to face meetings with clients and conducting audit fieldwork in the usual manner at client sites still looks to be a long way into the future.
That being said, the challenges thrown at us has created the opportunity to embrace the technology at our disposal, work in an increasingly agile manner, and demonstrate our flexibility and enthusiasm to our clients to ensure that audit and assurance engagements are continuing to progress.
Yes, we have had some engagements delayed until later in the year where clients have been required to take advantage of the government furlough scheme, however, this is a small number and we have the plans in place to make sure the work for these clients can be slotted back into our audit schedule when the time is right for them.
So, where are we now, at the end of the eleventh week of the government lockdown in Scotland? For engagements which were already in progress, we have managed to complete and lodge 24 sets of financial statements with Companies House, with more to follow in June. For audits originally planned in for March, April & May; we have commenced work with 51 of our clients spanning from owner-managed businesses to international groups.
We have also begun the process of planning work for our upcoming audits in June, July & August with the aim of helping our clients stick to their original timetables and deadlines. This allows them to focus on key business operations and not have the concern that there will be undue pressure on them as reporting and filing deadlines arise later in the year. Finally, through the use of technology, 7 “virtual” stock checks have been carried out with our clients.
Through our use of Microsoft Teams, Skype, our dedicated “Sharefile” site, and other means of communication and sharing information; we have been able to collaborate with our clients in extremely uncertain times and demonstrate that (as far as we can) it is “business as usual” within the AAB audit and assurance team.
An in depth example of how we have helped one of our clients is detailed in a recent case study, found here.