Attest Services requiring client independence:
Review Services – CPA issues a report in which he or she expresses an opinion or a conclusion on the financial statements so that a user can make informed decisions.
- In a review of financial statements, the CPA seeks to obtain limited assurance as a basis for reporting whether the CPA is aware of any material modifications that should be made to the financial statements in order for them to be presented in accordance with an applicable financial reporting framework. A review is substantially less in scope than an audit, and often is performed for privately held companies that are required to provide financial statements to outside parties such as banks, creditors, or potential purchasers. Reviews of financial statements are conducted in accordance with the the AICPA Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services (SSARSs), except for reviews of certain interim financial information that are conducted in accordance with the AICPA Statements on Auditing Standards (SASs). Reviews of subject matter other than historical financial statements are performed in accordance with the AICPA Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAEs).
Agreed Upon Procedures – In non-assurance services, CPAs issue reports that do not express an opinion or conclusion on the subject matter (for example, financial statements).
- An agreed-upon procedures engagement is one in which a CPA is engaged by a client to issue a report of findings based on procedures agreed upon between the CPA and specified parties at the outset. In an agreed-upon procedures engagement, the CPA issues a report, but does not express an opinion or a conclusion on the subject matter.
Compilation Services – Attest service in which the CPA does not express any assurance on the subject matter.
- When a CPA undertakes this type of service, the CPA applies accounting and financial reporting expertise to assist his or her client in the presentation of financial information, but the CPA does not seek to obtain or provide any assurance that there are no material modifications that should be made to the financial statements. Additionally, the CPA is required to determine if he or she is independent of the client, and the CPA will include this determination in a report issued in accordance with the AICPA Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services (SSARSs).