Faculty guidance on audit report e-signatures
Practical guidance for auditors on signing audit reports electronically is now available from the Audit and Assurance Faculty and ICAEW’s Business Law Department.
The pandemic, the subsequent lockdown and the resulting increase in remote working have presented auditors with many logistical challenges, not least how to sign the auditor’s report. Making the choice between co-ordinating signing of the relevant pages by post using handwritten (wet ink) signatures, or signing with a type of electronic signature (e-signature), is not always straightforward.
Although e-signatures may be faster, many auditors are unsure if and when they are permissible. And while e-signatures have been standard in some industries for years, a lack of clarity and certainty among auditors about the legalities has hindered e-signature use where legislation requires a document to be ‘signed’.