Course ID: HARE

How to Audit in a Remote Environment and How To Avoid Common Peer Review Pitfalls

On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (“WHO”) announced a global health emergency because of a new strain of coronavirus originating in Wuhan, China (the “COVID-19 outbreak”) and the risks to the international community as the virus spreads globally beyond its point of origin. In March 2020, the WHO classified the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic, based on the rapid increase in exposure globally.

The full impact of the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve. As such, it is uncertain as to the full magnitude that the pandemic will have on organizations’ financial condition, liquidity, and future results of their operations. Organizations’ management are actively monitoring the situation on their financial condition, liquidity, operations, suppliers, industry, and workforce. Given the daily evolution of the COVID-19 outbreak and the global responses to curb its spread, companies are not able to estimate the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on their results of operations, financial condition, or liquidity for fiscal year 2021. If the pandemic continues, it could have a material adverse effect on companies’ results of future operations, financial position, and liquidity in fiscal year 2021.

This session will provide external auditors both practical and insightful perspectives on how to navigate an audit engagement of a private company in 2021 while working remotely. You’ll learn which areas of the audit have increased in risk due to COVID-19 as well as what alternative audit procedures are available to engagement teams in circumstances where traditional audit procedures are not possible. You’ll acquire a clearer and deeper understanding of what will be needed to be done in order properly perform audit engagements under this difficult environment in accordance with Professional Standards.

What does it take to have a properly designed and operating effectively quality control system that leads your CPA firm to receive a pass with no findings on your next peer review report? Find out how you can create a strong quality control environment for your assurance practice. Offering practical guidance, this session will assist you in the process for selecting the appropriate peer reviewer and to determine the right year-end for your practice.

Recent changes to enhance the peer review process by incorporating best practices of effective peer reviewers into the Peer Review standards, interpretations, and related guidance are also covered in this course. These changes are intended to reinforce the need for adequate planning and preparation for a peer review by both firms and peer reviewers to allow sufficient time for proper identification of systemic causes and appropriate remediation, when necessary.

Learning Objectives

When you complete this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify areas of the audit where risk has gone up significantly due to the pandemic.
  • A discussion of viable alternative audit procedures to perform
  • Addressing potential reporting implications
  • Prepare for your upcoming AICPA Peer Review.

Major Topics
  • Proper planning of an audit engagement during the pandemic
  • Changes in the risk assessment procedures in response to COVID-19
  • How to gain an understanding of an organization’s internal control environment remotely
  • Properly communicating with management, board of directors and those charged with governance
  • Increase in going concern assessments
  • Significant financial reporting and disclosure implications
  • Provide best practices on how to create an environment that focuses on quality;
  • Discuss basic steps for monitoring and performing internal inspections;
  • Discuss key considerations related to establishing a quality control system based on the AICPA Statements on Quality Control Standards;
  • Address significant recurring engagement deficiencies and how to prevent them; and
  • How to properly prepare for your next AICPA Peer Review, including decisions to make and how to gather and maintain the correction information.

Who Should Attend

Experienced CPAs and practitioners in public practice who conduct audits under AICPA Professional Standards.


Fields of Study


General knowledge of AICPA Professional Standards and experience in auditing private companies.

Business Learning Institute

CPE Credits


This course is available for your group as:


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