New Audit Reporting Challenges: Auditing the Going Concern Basis of Accounting

An example follows of an explanatory paragraph (following the opinion paragraph) in the auditor’s report describing an uncertainty about the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern for a reasonable period of time. Management believes the Company’s present cash flows will not enable it to meet its obligations for twelve months from the date these financial statements are available to be issued. It is probable that management will obtain new sources of financing that will enable the Company to meet its obligations for the twelve-month period from the date the financial statements are available to be issued.

  • This proposal comes after several scandals related to audit reporting on going concern have decreased user confidence in the audit profession.
  • All forward-looking analyses are subject to error and the dynamics of changing—and sometimes unpredictable—macro- and microeconomic factors.
  • Still, most users salute the revision process and urge the IAASB to closely work with other bodies for this matter.
  • Another aspect for auditors to consider is that the conditions and events we’re facing should not be considered to be an automatic going concern report for any company.
  • And if, at the time the statements are issued, there is any substantial doubt about the ability to realize those asset values and liquidate those liabilities, disclosure by management in a note and by the auditor in its report is required for a fair presentation.
  • Since liquidity needs over the next 12 months play such a pivotal role in the going concern assessment, management usually doesn’t have to proceed past this financial condition category when there’s sufficient credit to cover all liquidity needs.
  • This study has some limitations that can be addressed by another author in future studies.

The case began with the collapse of Batavia Air that led to its shutdown in 2013 because the company was unable to pay its debt due to December 2012, although in 2011, the company still received unqualified opinion from and independent auditor and its audited cash flow showed a good financial condition. It is argued that the going concern opinion is issued if auditors have a doubt about financial condition of a company. Provision of the going concern audit opinion may worsen the company in terms of gaining public trust and may Going Concern Accounting And Auditing even indicate bankruptcy. This study aims to determine the factors that affect the auditor’s going concern opinion. When evaluating management’s plans, the auditor should identify those elements that are particularly significant to overcoming the adverse effects of the conditions and events and should plan and perform auditing procedures to obtain evidential matter about them. For example, the auditor should consider the adequacy of support regarding the ability to obtain additional financing or the planned disposal of assets.

Going concern audit opinion

Based on the results of the logistic regression analysis to determine influencing factors on the going concern audit opinion with research data of manufacturing firms listed on the IDX from 2015 to 2019, it can be concluded that leverage was positively affected the going concern audit opinion. This indicates that companies with high debt ratio are very likely to suffer financial and continuity difficulties. Audit quality, profitability and liquidity negatively affected the going concern audit opinion, while firm size and audit lag did not affect the going concern audit opinion. Jensen and Meckling (1976) stated that the agency theory deals with incongruence between the interests of principals and their agents. This theory entails the relationship between company personnel, namely, the principals and agents. The principals are those who assign duties to the agents, where they also act to make decisions.

If that’s part of management’s plans, then the auditor needs to assess whether those third parties have both the intent and the ability to provide that support if need be. And if the intent and ability are present, there is a requirement for the auditor to obtain written evidence about the intent, preferably from the third party. And if that’s all present, that may very well lead to a conclusion that the going concern has been alleviated for a reasonable period of time. The auditor is required to consider the evaluation that has been performed by management and then to come to his or her own conclusion on whether the use of the going concern basis is appropriate for preparation of those financial statements. Another requirement is for the auditor to consider the adequacy and the appropriateness of the disclosures around the conditions and events relative to going concern.

Remaining Alert Throughout the Audit

However, a company must also consider the counterparty and any significant changes since it last implemented such a plan. Regarding forecast scenarios, be aware management typically uses more going concern assumptions and judgment during economic uncertainty. This notion is even more critical when risks on debt covenant violations in the forecasted period could trigger a violation, thus allowing debt to be puttable by the lender. Considering how many times we’ve already mentioned it, substantial doubt is obviously at the heart of a going concern evaluation. Therefore, management understanding the underlying concept is a critical component of the entire assessment process.

Going Concern Accounting And Auditing

Instead, it’s primarily a result of the economic environment around the coronavirus pandemic, its lasting negative trends, possible recession, and doubt over a company’s ability to survive. Preparers of financial statements will need to be agile and responsive as the situation unfolds. Having access to experts, insights and accurate information as quickly as possible is critical – but your resources may be stretched at this time. We can support you as you navigate through accounting for the impacts of COVID-19 on your business.


Substantial doubt exists when conditions or events, in the aggregate, indicate a likelihood the entity won’t meet its obligations due during the evaluation period – the 12 months following the financial statement issuance date. The evaluation period is commonly known as either the assessment period or the look-forward period. Further, since US GAAP doesn’t directly address the topic, a going concern assessment doesn’t affect an entity’s financial accounting, regardless of the assessment results.

The descriptive statistics in Table 2 indicated that the time needed by PAFs to complete the audit report from the end date of financial statements was, on average, 93.03 days, the minimum duration was 53 days and maximum duration was 209 days, with the deviation standard of 27.73. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 made it much more difficult for a plaintiff to bring suit successfully against a company’s auditors. While the act did codify as law the reporting requirements of SAS 59, it also made it more difficult for a plaintiff’s attorneys to successfully pursue class-action litigation against auditors.

Accounting Hiring Market (Part :

The results of logistic regression test to determine the relationship between the independent and the dependent variables can be seen in the following classification matrix table (Table 6). Based on the results of the determinant coefficient test described in the table above, the value of Nagelkerke R2 was 0.674, which means that the independent variables explained variability in the dependent variable by 67.4%, while remaining 32.6% of variability is explained by other variables beyond this research model. The estimation of overall model fit for this study model was conducted based on the likelihood function L. The likelihood L of the model is the probability that the hypothesized model describes the input data. The results of the overall fit model test can be seen in the following table (Table 3).

However, some courts considering cases in which the plaintiff alleges that the auditors should have issued a going concern disclosure have looked beyond these allegations and assessed what information was available to the plaintiff during the relevant period. 8455 (JFK), 1989 WL (S.D.N.Y. May 10, 1989)], the bankruptcy trustee of an entity that had acquired a deeply troubled shipping entity alleged that the entity’s auditors should have disclosed a serious doubt about the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern. Had the auditors done so, the trustee alleged, the acquisition would never have gone forward. The document requires auditors to probe managements, expecting to be presented with a fair assessment of the company’s future prospects, informed of events and conditions that might cause financials to deteriorate, and shown management’s plans to address and counter the negative issues.

Consideration of the Effects on the Auditor’s Report

Consider how a single substantial lawsuit, default on a loan, or defective product can jeopardize the future of a company. Courts should thus exercise some skepticism about allegations that such transactions would not have occurred if only the auditors had included a going concern disclosure in their opinion or insisted on such a disclosure in the notes. This is particularly true in cases where the plaintiffs are institutional investors who have the capacity to analyze financial data concerning large public companies on a continual basis. Devaney involved a privately held entity, sophisticated potential financers, and acquirers who had full access to the target entity’s financial condition and operations. These circumstances have generally not been applicable to transactions involving publicly traded securities.

Going Concern Accounting And Auditing

This timely and more comprehensive information is available to absentee owners, shareholders, and lenders who make the generally minimal effort required to access it. As we previously mentioned, without substantial doubt, there’s no impact to the company’s financial statements. Still when there is substantial doubt, the required disclosures will depend on whether the substantial doubt raised was alleviated by management’s plans or if it exists.