The areas below provide additional detail regarding the complex differences between audit, review, compilation and other attest services. To assist you in evaluating which service will provide you with the level of assurance you seek, please consider the following brief summary. It is not possible to sufficiently summarize all of the important elements and considerations of each service, so please review the applicable area of your needs and please contact us to request a free consultation.
An audit of your organization’s financial statements is the highest recognized level of service provided by certified public accountants. While many “accountants” may offer assistance in preparing financial statements, only a licensed CPA is recognized to perform an audit in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards.
Audit procedures include testing and analysis of internal accounting controls, evaluation of financial statement risks and materiality, verification of amounts through correspondence with third parties, and examination of third-party documentation for transactions. The procedures we perform are governed by the AICPA, with many mandatory procedures. Our scope of procedures can be limited where materiality considerations permit. The financial statements usually include a balance sheet and statements of operations and cash flows. Notes to the financial statements are required. With required notes to the financial statements, our report provides an opinion on the financial statements.
This level of limited assurance is also only offered by state licensed CPAs. These procedures involve more analytical analysis using both external and internal documentation. We still utilize risk analysis, but the scope of our procedures is more reliant upon our judgment and questions that arise in the course of our procedures. We expand our procedures, based upon the results of our analyses, when we have concerns about potential material modifications. The accountants’ report indicates whether we noted any material modifications that should be made to the financial statements, but does not include an opinion. The financial statements themselves are the same as those required for an audit.
This service involves taking the Entity’s accounting records and creating a set of financial statements. The financial statements can exclude the cash flow statement and notes to the financial statements at the option of management. They can be prepared under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), tax basis, cash basis, or another basis – whatever is best suited to your needs. No assurance of accuracy is provided on compiled statements which are the representation of management. This is a very useful tool for tax planning.
There are several other attest services that we provide. The most sought-after service is our Agreed-Upon Procedures engagement. For this service, we work with you to design a set of procedures that we will perform to meet your specific needs. We provide detail of what procedures we performed and what the results were of those procedures – all exceptions are included. This type of service is designed to concentrate our work on the areas of your greatest concern. For more information on agreed-upon procedures and other procedures we can perform, please use the link above.
If you would like to further discuss your options, please let us know. Our goal is to provide you with the service you feel accomplishes your objectives, and not to sell you something you don’t want or need.