The following article was published by the American Institute of CPA’s.
The level of service is determined by your needs as the client, and what your creditors and/or investors require. The higher the level of service required, the more time the CPA needs to complete the engagement and therefore the more costly the engagement. While privately held companies opt for compiled or reviewed statements, credit agreements with lenders often require audited statements.
- Audited financial statements provide the user with the auditor’s opinion that the financial statements are presented fairly, in all material respects, in conformity with the applicable financial reporting framework.
- In an audit, the auditor is required by auditing standards generally accepted in the United States of America (GAAS) to obtain an understanding of the entity’s internal control and assess fraud risk. The auditor also is required to corroborate the amounts and disclosures included in the financial statements by obtaining audit evidence through inquiry, physical inspection, observation, third-party confirmations, examination, analytical procedures and other procedures.
- The auditor issues a report that states the audit was conducted in accordance with GAAS, the financial statements are the responsibility of management, provides an opinion that the financial statements present fairly in all material respects the financial position of the company and the results of operations are in conformity with the applicable financial reporting framework (or issues a qualified opinion if the financial statements are not in conformity with the applicable financial reporting framework. The auditor may also issue a disclaimer of opinion or an adverse opinion if appropriate).