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Friday Footnotes: EY Orders Mandatory Leave; PwC’s New Cootie App; July 15? | 5.8.20

EY orders consultants to take time off as work slows [Financial Times] EY has ordered consultants whose work has dried up during the pandemic to take the last week of May as annual leave as it attempts to ease a “holiday backlog”. The Big Four accounting firm sent an internal email on Thursday saying consultants in its financial services division who are less busy than normal “will be required to take four days annual leave from Tuesday 26 to Friday 29 May”. The edict was a “first step” while it anticipates business being quieter, it said.

Overcoming site visit limitations in the pandemic [Journal of Accountancy] Although some states are beginning to transition out of stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions, uncertainty persists over the permissibility and safety of travel. It is therefore incumbent on auditors to reject notions of imminent returns to the status quo, nor should we rely on any such assumption as a basis for planned fieldwork. Auditors must adapt to the obscurity of what lies ahead by embracing remote auditing methodologies.

5 Steps Your Clients Can Take to Weather Mandatory PPP Audits [AccountingWEB] Your clients that fail audits jeopardize all or part of their loan forgiveness, and, worse, might face False Claims Act prosecutions by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Besides SBA audits, borrowers must prepare for investigations by the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery and reviews by the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee and the Congressional Oversight Commission. In addition, the DOJ and State Attorneys General have announced enforcement initiatives.

Tax Deadline Remains July 15 During COVID-19 Crisis, Despite Rumors [Forbes] It is true that there are whispers about pushing the filing deadline into fall. So far, those are just whispers. There is no official proposal on the books. There’s not even a potential date being bandied about: it’s been rumored that it could move anywhere from September 15, 2020, to December 15, 2020. For now, those rumors aren’t helpful.

PwC develops contact-tracing app for staff and clients [] PwC’s new Automatic Contact Tracing app helps organizations quickly identify employees who have come in contact with a Covid-19 positive employee, pinpointing exposures to avoid blanket shutdowns of operations or teams.

States and Cities Get an 18-Month Reprieve on Lease Accounting [Bloomberg Tax] U.S. cities and states will have an extra 18 months to prepare for a major change in lease accounting, the government-accounting rulemaker said Friday. The Governmental Accounting Standards Board also delayed by a year the effective dates for eight other accounting rule changes, including those for fiduciary activities, conduit debt obligations, and major equity interests.

Our profession has changed forever [Accounting Today] 42-year industry vet Gary Shamis writes in AT: “Three elements of our practice have changed forever: the unprecedented move to a virtual practice, the client experience and our relationships with traditional office real estate.”