International Journal of Entrepreneurship (Print ISSN: 1099-9264; Online ISSN: 1939-4675)


Auditing Practices and Sustainability in the Covid−19 Era

Author(s): Isaac M. Ikpor, Jean Pierre Gueyie, Obiajulu C. Okeke, Nancy Agha

The mandatory work-from-home and physical distancing measures employed by governments in developing countries to curtail the spread of the deadly COVID-19 novel coronavirus pose important threats to accounting and auditing practices. The aim of this study is to evaluate how being sustainability conscious on one hand and adopting remote auditing on the other hand can enhance company sustainability (or long term viability) in developing countries in an era of uncertainty. Using the content analysis and survey analysis approaches, our study provides evidence that being sustainability conscious in reporting practices promotes going concern, helps companies disclose subsequent events, and strengthens the internal control assessment of firms during the COVID-19 period. It supports the literature calling for additional nuance strategies to promote company performance and it proposes how uncertain events (such as COVID-19) can be controlled to enhance the sustainability of accounting and auditing practices. Accordingly, companies that hold themselves accountable to their stakeholders and increase their transparency guarantee continuous operations even in the period of serious calamity. Consequently, they will be more viable - and sustainable - in the long term. This study contributes to the literature on the area of voluntary disclosure as an important aspect of sustainability reporting. Moreover, the study shows how the increased use of remote auditing has been adopted during the COVID-19 era as a means to enhance company sustainability through stakeholders’ continuous confidence in audited financial statements. Using data from Nigerian listed companies, the paper provides important contributions on how sustainability motivations act as a pillar of new strategies and competitive accounting practices. This has both policy and practical implications.

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