There are three general levels of financial statement service: audit, review, and compilation.
A professional audit is the highest level of assurance that a CPA performs, and enhances the confidence that outside investors and lenders will place on the accuracy of your financial statements. An added benefit of an audit is to detect areas in the organization’s financial systems needing improvement. As your external auditor, I can help you determine what your needs are, and offer you a level of service that doesn’t waste your resources.
A review is substantially less intensive than an audit, and typically advantageous as a business grows and is seeking larger levels of financing and credit. A review provides limited assurance as to whether material modifications are needed on the company’s financial statements in order for them to be in conformity with the financial reporting framework.
The purpose of a compilation is to assist management in the presentation of financial statements. The formal compilation report identifies the business’s association with a CPA and is generally intended for use by lenders and other outside parties. Due to the limited scope, the CPA expresses no assurance regarding the accuracy of financial statements.