The objective of an audit engagement is to enable a public accountant to issue an opinion on the fairness of the client’s financial statements.
The organization’s management is responsible for preparing the financial statements for purposes of the audit. The auditor’s task is to express an opinion on these financial statements. The auditor must carry out this work in such a way as to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free from material misstatement.
Through study and evaluation of the organization’s system of internal controls, inspection of supporting documentation, making inquiries inside and outside the organization, and using other generally accepted auditing methods, the auditor will collect the information necessary to determine whether the financial statements adequately reflect the financial position of the organization and its activities during the period covered by the audit.
Audited financial statements are the generally accepted means by which many organizations are accountable to their funders, members, banks, creditors, and government.
The objective of a review engagement is to review the financial statements to ensure that they are plausible.
Where an audit engagement is not required by funders, creditors, or members, a review engagement may be considered. A review provides limited assurance that the financial information complies with current accounting standards.
The public accountant conducting a review must be independent from the client and have good knowledge of the organization’s industry. The public accountant must have sufficient knowledge of the client’s business. The review should include inquiries, analysis, and discussions with management.
The resulting moderate level of assurance indicates that the public accountant has not noted anything that would indicate that the financial information has not been presented in accordance with current accounting standards.
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