Contemporary Auditing I
Auditing, Attestation, and Assurance Services Paper
Auditing is a subset of attestation, which is a subset of assurance. These services, which are governed by several organizations, are unique in their own way. Because of the constantly changing role of the auditor, particularly since the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, different types of services have become necessary. In this paper we will compare and contrast auditing, attestation, and assurance services as well as provide examples of each service. In addition it will explain what standards apply to each service and who establishes those standards. Comparing and Contrasting Auditing, Attestation, and Assurance Services
Auditing is the term used to describe the process of obtaining objective evidence regarding the reliability and integrity of financial information or statements (Elliott & Pallais, 1997). It includes procedures such as testing systems and gathering evidence. Inquiry is another important procedure in addition to analytical tests of records and systems. Attestation is the reporting of the results analyzed and confirmed in the auditing process. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) involved in an attest engagement will issue a written report and take responsibility regarding the fairness of the information presented. Various levels of responsibility including three standard types: an examination is referred to as an audit, a review, which is less in scope, and an agreed-upon-procedures report. Agreed-upon-procedures are listed and the results are reported for each procedure as designed. Assurance is very much like an audit except that it usually is used to verify a certain financial issue project. As with all attestation functions, independence is the backbone of an assurance procedure. The difference is that assurance reports are not...