Stockholders, creditors, and private investors often need assurance that the financial statements accurately represent the true financial position of a company.
Your stockholders, creditors, or private investors have different levels of risk tolerance, so we provide three levels of reporting to meet your needs.
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, we may need to perform additional procedures.
A review doesn't require us to study and evaluate your company's internal controls or verify data with third parties or physically inspect assets. Rather, a review report expresses limited assurance in the form of the statement: "We are not aware of any material modifications" for the financial statements to be in conformity with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Reviewed financial statements must include all required footnotes and other disclosures.
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.
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.
The financial statement preparation service is primarily intended for your own use to have current information on the financial standing of your business and to make decisions accordingly. In essence this service is no different from what an in-house controller or CFO would provide to management in a larger company.
You can share your financial statements with outside parties but on each page, we will include a notice that “no assurance is provided” on the financial statements.
Because we will prepare your financial statements directly from the bookkeeping records, we will not verify the accuracy or completeness of the information, and we are not required to issue a formal report on the financial statements.
For more information on the differences, the AICPA provides a brochure titled: A Guide to Financial Statement Services.
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.