COVID-19 and the Accounting Profession

Journal of Accounting, Ethics and Public Policy 22(2): 151-205 (2021)

55 Pages Posted: 5 May 2021

See all articles by Wendy Heltzer

Wendy Heltzer

DePaul University - College of Commerce

Mary Mindak

DePaul University

Date Written: May 4, 2021


This is the first large-scale academic study evaluating the impact of COVID-19 on the accounting profession. We find that physical restrictions and economic hardships resulting from COVID-19 impeded accountants’ productivity, ability to perform their work, ability to maintain relationships with clients and co-workers, and ability to sell future services to prospective clients. Auditors believe COVID-19 will reduce the effectiveness of clients’ internal controls and make it more difficult for auditors to determine the effectiveness of internal controls. Auditors additionally believe that COVID-19 will make it more difficult to determine the going concern status of their clients. Tax professionals do not agree with the notions that COVID-19 will lead to increased difficulty in reporting taxable income, an increase in aggressive tax reporting, or an increase in attempted tax evasion. Results herein are of importance to accountants, educators, legislators and all users of financial statements.

Keywords: COVID-19, auditing, financial statements, tax preparation

JEL Classification: H83, M10, M14, M15, M21, M30, M41, M42, H54, I00, I10

Suggested Citation

Heltzer, Wendy and Mindak, Mary, COVID-19 and the Accounting Profession (May 4, 2021). Journal of Accounting, Ethics and Public Policy 22(2): 151-205 (2021), Available at SSRN:

Wendy Heltzer (Contact Author)

DePaul University - College of Commerce ( email )

Chicago, IL
United States

Mary Mindak

DePaul University ( email )

1 East Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

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