Audit - Highest Level of Assurance
An audit provides the highest level of assurance. An audit is a methodical review and objective examination of the financial statements, including the verification of specific information as determined by the auditor or as established by general practice.
Usually an audit includes a review of internal controls, testing of selected transactions, and communication with third parties. Based on findings, a report is issued on whether the financial statements are fairly stated and free of material misstatements.
An Audit allows you to...
Satisfy stakeholders such as employees, customers, suppliers and pressure groups, as well as the investing community, as to the credibility of published information.
Facilitate the payment of corporate tax, goods and services tax, and other taxes on-time and accurately, thereby avoiding interest, penalties, and investigations.
Comply with banking covenants.
Help deter and detect material fraud and error.
Facilitate the purchase and sale of businesses.
Review - Limited Assurance
Less extensive than an audit, but more involved than a compilation, a review engagement consists primarily of analytical procedures we apply to the financial statements, and various inquiries we make of your company's management team. If the financial statements or supporting information appear inconsistent or otherwise questionable, additional procedures may need to be performed.
A review doesn't require a study and evaluation of your company's internal controls or data verification with third parties or physical inspection of assets.
Why might a business request a review engagement? It can be a good middle ground, providing the advantages of a CPA's technical expertise without the work and expense of an audit.
Compilation - Lowest Level of Assurance
In compiling financial statements for a client, we present information that is the "representation of management" and expresses no opinion or assurance on the statements. Compilations don't require inquiries of management or analytical procedures. Instead, we rely on our knowledge of accounting principles and a general understanding of your business.
Banks often require compilations from an independent CPA as part of their lending covenants.
Which Report Should You Use?
Each type of financial statement report may suit specific circumstances, depending on requirements from your client's bank or other parties, as well as meet budgetary needs.
Understanding each report's unique strengths and weaknesses can help you choose the most appropriate one. Please call if you have questions about which type of report is right for you.