Auditing, Attestation, and Assurance
What is Auditing, Attestation and Assurance? Auditing relates to the analysis of the financial statements, attestation relates to the financial information beyond the financial statements, and assurance relates to improvement of the reliability of the financial information within the financial statements. This paper will give examples of each type of service, who might request these services, the standards that apply to each service, and who establishes those standards. The paper will also provide a comparison and contrast point of view for all three services. Types of Service
Auditing services are important to most businesses. There are a wide variety of auditing services offered. One of the most recognized auditing service is the Internal Revenue Service. They conduct audits on tax and financial information to determine if any fraudulent information was provided. Another type of auditing service are public accounting firms or certified public accountants (CPA). These are external auditors and conduct audits for a variety of reasons. These reasons can be to assure stakeholders the financial information is correct, or they are operating under a set of guidelines set forth, (What Are The Different Types Of Audit Services?, n.d.).
Attestation services according to dictionary.com is, “a consulting service in which a CPA expresses a conclusion about the reliability of a written statement that is the responsibility of someone else, “(Attestation Service", n.d. para. 1). These services can be provided for a variety of reasons. One common reason is to provide a conclusion on a companies internal controls. A company may have concerns in certain areas like inventory, and will request an attestation to ensure the internal controls in place are effective or if the need improvement. Most companies will request this service to ensure they are in compliance with regulations set by the Securities Exchange Commission, (SEC).
The final service is assurance services. These services can be a review of financial documents and transactions, (Investopedia Explains Assurance Services, n.d.). This service will certify that the information being reviewed is correct and valid. Assurance services can be performed on things like loans, contracts, or financial websites. A company could request this service to ensure the numbers and math are correct on a project. Requester
Financial assurance services are often provided by certified public accountants, and may be conducted at the request of the business, or at the direction of a governmental agency. Assurance services can include review of any kind of financial document or transaction, such as a loan, contract or financial website (Investopida.com, n.d.). An audit of the financial records of a business or other organization can help identify the presence of any errors in posting line items to the accounting books, as well as make sure that general accounting principles are being followed in the maintenance of those accounting records.
Attestation services provide a report on subject matter, or an assertion about subject matter, that is the responsibility of another party (Dictionary.com, n.d.). A company that has concerns about possible misstatements of financial information provided by various divisions would want to request a CPA for attestation services for all of those divisions. Attestation services maybe requested for financial statement supplementary information, inventory quantities, and compliance with GAAP and Sarbanes-Oxley requirements. The CPA will provided services using Auditing Standards Board (ASB).
The Statements on Auditing Standards (SASs) are the standards issued by the Auditing
Standards Board (ASB) to establish the role of auditors as well as regulations on who can
perform audits in specific situations. The SASs basically provides guidance...