Impact of COVID-19 and Government Imposed Lockdown Restrictions on South African Audit Engagements


  • Tadiwanashe Mugabe
  • Jane Ndlovu University of the Witwatersrand
  • Wayne Van Zijl


pandemic, South African auditors, gathering audit evidence, auditor communication with client and team members


Objectives This study analyses the impact of COVID-19 and government-imposed lockdown restrictions on the gathering of audit evidence and the auditors’ communication with the client and other team members. Approach A quantitative approach is used to analyze the results of an electronic questionnaire consisting of 5-point Likert scale questions. LinkedIn was used to distribute the questionnaire to auditors, and 61 responses were obtained for analysis. Despite the small sample size, the Kruskal-Wallis test showed that there was no statistically significant difference between the factor scores with regard to age and the type of audit firm. As a result, the survey's results are applicable to the whole audit profession in South Africa. Results It was found that the respondents highly valued the training provided by their respective audit firms as an effective tool for assisting them to adjust to remote working. Many auditors used Microsoft Teams and/or Zoom, both of which were considered highly effective communication tools. Despite the significant challenges that arose in the audit evidence gathering process, the auditors are confident they were able to overcome these challenges and still ensure that sufficient and appropriate audit evidence was collected.  


Adelopo, I. (2016). Auditor Independence: Auditing, Corporate governance and Market confidence. Routledge.

Akrimi, N. (2021). The Impact Of The Coronavirus Pandemic On Audit Quality: The Perceptions Of Saudi Auditors. Academy of Accounting and Financial Studies Journal, pp. 1-7.

Al-Aamaedeh, Z. O. & Alhosban, A. A. (2021). The impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19) on external audit from the viewpoint of external auditors. International Journal of Enterpreneurship, pp. 1-12.

Albitar, K., Gerged, A. M., Kikhia , H. & Hussainey, K. (2020). Auditing in times of social distancing: The effect of COVID 19 on auditing quality. International Journal of Accounting and Information Management.

Annum, G. (2014). Research Instrument for Data Collection. University Press.

Appelbaum, D., Budnik, S. & Vasarhelyi, M. (2020). Auditng and Accounting During and After the COVID-19 crisis. The CPA Journal, pp. 14-19.

Bauer, T. D., Humphreys, K. A. & Trotman, K. T. (2021). Group judgment and Decision makingin Auditing: Research in the Time of COVID 19 and Beyond. AUDITING: A Journal of Practice & Theory.

Beechem, O. (2021). IT Usage in Auditing and the impact of COVID-19. Undergraduate Theses. p. 56.

Buheji, M. & Ahmed, D. (2020). Planning for the 'New Normal':Foresight and Management of the Possibilities of Socio-economic spillovers due to the COVID 19 Pandemic. Business Management and Strategy.

Dimi, L. O., Padia, N. & Maroun, W. (2014). The Usefulness of South African Annual Reports as at December 2010. Journal Of Economic And Financial Sciences.

Dordevic, M. & Dukic, T. (2021). Auditors' Responsibility In Assessing Going Concern Assumption Affected By Covid-19. Economic Themes, pp. 77-93.

Hay, D., Shires, K. & Van Dyk, D. (2021). Auditing in the times of COVID - the impact of the COVID- 19 on auditing in New Zealand and subsequent reforms. Pacific Accounting Review.

Johnsson, C. & Persson, N. (2021). Auditing in times of change: A qualitative study on how Covid-19 will affect audit quality.

Kaka, E.J. (2021). Covid-19 and auditing. Journal of Applied Accounting and Taxation, 6(1), pp.1-10.

Knechel, W. R., Krishnan, G. V., Pevzner, M., Shefchik, L. & Velury, U. (2012). Audit Quality: Insights from the Academic Literature. AUDITING: A Journal of Practice & Theory.

Lazarevska, Z., Trpeska, M., Atanasovski, A. & Dionisijev, I. (2020). Audit Profession In The Shadow Of The Covid-19 - A Perception Of Auditors In The Republic Of North Macedonia. Economic and Business Trends Shaping The Future.

Luo, Y. and Malsch, B. (2020). Exploring improvisation in audit work through auditors’ response to COVID-19. Available at SSRN 3643823.

Manita, R., Elommal, N., Baudier, P. & Hikkerova, L. (2020). The digital transformation of external audit and its impact on corporate governance. Technological Forecasting and Social Change.

Saleem, K. S. (2021). The impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Auditing Quality in Jordan. International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change Vol. 15.

Sehgal, P. (2021), June 24. Temporary remote work becomes a permanent option for Deloitte's U.K. employees. Retrieved from

Tosczak, M. (2021). When Everything Became Very Real. Journal of Accountancy.

Tysiac, K. (2020). Auditors show resilience during pandemic, CAQ's Linda says. Journal of Accountancy.




How to Cite

Mugabe, T., Ndlovu, J., & Van Zijl, W. (2022). Impact of COVID-19 and Government Imposed Lockdown Restrictions on South African Audit Engagements. The Journal of Accounting and Management, 12(2). Retrieved from