Private companies and nonprofit organizations often find themselves navigating the complex world of financial oversight and reporting. This involves engaging with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or independent auditor to ensure compliance, financial accuracy, and accountability. Two standard terms in this context are “financial statement audits” and “reviews.” 

These terms represent distinct procedures with varying purposes and levels of scrutiny. This article will provide an overview of the distinctions between financial statement audits and reviews, helping you understand what to expect from each procedure. Additionally, we’ll offer practical strategies that CPA auditors might recommend for preparation, allowing you to feel confident when working with Assurance Dimensions. 


Defining Financial Statement Audits vs. Reviews

An audit conducted by a CPA firm offers your business the highest level of financial assurance. It ensures compliance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and is crucial when presenting financial statements to investors, lenders, and creditors, providing a comprehensive view of your financial situation.

In contrast, an audit review, also by a CPA, is less extensive and provides limited assurance. It evaluates financial records through analytical procedures and inquiries, offering some insights but a different confidence level than a full audit.


How to Prepare for A Financial Statement Audit

Preparing for a private company audit is essential to ensure a smooth and successful process. Here are some key strategies your company can take to prepare for an audit. 

  1. Understand the scope: Clearly outline the scope and objectives of the audit review. 
  2. Consult with a CPA: for expert guidance in your audit, consult with a trusted CPA.
  3. Organize financial records: confirm financial records are current.
  4. Assess internal controls: review and strengthen your internal controls to minimize the risk of errors or fraud in financial reporting.
  5. Compile relevant documentation: this may include contracts, invoices, bank statements, receipts, and any other supporting evidence for transactions and balances.
  6. Reconcile accounts: ensure accounts match financial records.

Failing to plan is planning to fail; the same principle applies to your company’s financial status. Proper preparation for your audit enhances record accuracy and ensures a seamless process. 


Steps for Reviews

Preparing for an audit review differs from preparing for an audit since it’s less intensive. However, there are several steps to take to prepare for a successful review aimed at investigating and analyzing the company’s financial statements. 

  1. Initial assessment: the CPA begins by assessing the scope and objectives of the review engagement.
  2. Gather financial statements: collect and organize the company’s financial statements and confirm they’re current. 
  3. Investigate and analyze: thoroughly examine the financial statements during the audit review process.
  4. Provide limited assurance report: the auditor provides a report indicating that they have not identified any material misstatements in the financial information they reviewed.

These steps lead to the creation of a negative assurance report that provides limited assurance to financial statement users. The report aims to reassure users that the auditor didn’t identify any significant flaws or errors in the audited financial statements and highlights any deviations from accounting standards.


A Final Note on Financial Statement Audits and Reviews

Financial statement audits and reviews are distinct financial oversight procedures, each serving specific purposes and offering different levels of assurance. Understanding the differences is essential for private companies and nonprofit organizations. 

Assurance Dimensions, committed to excellence, is a valuable partner in your organization’s financial health. They provide expertise and guidance to achieve financial goals, maintain trust with stakeholders, and even offer remote support for added convenience and efficiency.


Enhance Your Financial Oversight And Assurance Levels 

Contact Assurance Dimensions today for expert guidance on private company audits and reviews. We’re here to help you achieve your financial goals, maintain trust with stakeholders, and provide remote support for added convenience and efficiency.