DGN offers four different levels of financial statement services. Because users of financial statements hold different levels of risk tolerance, clients may be unsure which type of service is needed. Following is a basic guide to help answer this question.
An audit provides the highest level of assurance on an organization’s financial statements. The CPA performs procedures in order to obtain “reasonable assurance” (defined as high but not absolute) about whether the financial statements are free from material misstatement. The CPA is required to obtain an understanding of the entity’s internal controls and assess fraud risk. The amounts and disclosures in the financial statements are corroborated through inquiry, physical inspection, observation, confirmations, examination and analytical procedures.
A review provides limited assurance on an organization’s financial statements. A review is intended to provide a user with a level of comfort on the financial statement’s accuracy. A review is substantially narrower in scope than an audit. The CPA must understand the industry in which the organization operates and obtain knowledge about the business and accounting principles used. Procedures performed include analytical procedures and inquiries.
A compilation provides no assurance on an organization’s financial statements. There is no testing or analytical procedures performed during a compilation. The CPA must read the financial statements in light of the financial reporting framework being used and consider whether the financial statements appear appropriate in form and free from obvious material misstatements.
A preparation also provides no assurance on an organization’s financial statements. This service is primarily intended for management’s own use to have current information on the financial standing of their business and to make decisions accordingly. Management can share the financial statements with outside parties, however, the CPA will not verify the accuracy or completeness of the information and is not required to issue a formal report on the financial statements.
DGN participates in the AICPA Peer Review Program. The goal of the practice monitoring, and the program itself, is to promote and enhance quality in the accounting and auditing services provided by the CPA firms subject to these standards. This goal serves the public interest and strengthens the accounting and audit quality. To read DGN’s peer review report click here.