Review Engagements and Agreed Upon Procedures
A financial statement review is a service under which the accountant obtains limited assurance that there are no material modifications that need to be made to an entity’s financial statements for them to be in conformity with the applicable financial reporting framework (such as GAAP or IFRS).
A review differs significantly from an audit. Review engagements provide less assurance to the reader of the financial statements because the auditor does not perform many audit procedures. The broad review procedures required to be performed by the auditor are:
✎ Inquiries as to the accounting practices and principles used by the business
✎ Procedures for recording and accumulating financial information
✎ Actions taken at owners’ or directors’ meetings
✎ Written representations from management regarding the accuracy of all information given to the auditor
✎ Receipt of all relevant information by the auditor
✎ Management’s responsibility for internal control
✎ Management’s responsibility to prevent and detect fraud
✎ Knowledge of fraud
✎ Information related to any significant subsequent events
✎ Analytical procedures regarding comparisons
✎ Expectations developed by the auditor of recorded amounts
✎ Ratios from recorded amounts
✎ Plausible relationships of recorded amounts
These analytical procedures provide better understanding of key relationships among certain numbers. This understanding gives more assurance about the reasonableness of the financial condition presented in the financial statements.
Based on the inquiries and analytical procedures, the auditor is able to express only limited assurance that there are no material modifications that should be made to the financial statements for them to be in conformity with the applicable financial reporting framework. Because a review engagement is substantially less intensive in scope than an audit, the auditor cannot express an opinion on the fairness of the financial statements taken as a whole.
At AMW, we perform review engagements for a number of clients for various different reasons. One such reason is the requirement for medium sized ACNC registered entities to at least be reviewed on an annual basis, if they choose not to be audited.
Agreed Upon Procedures
In an engagement to perform agreed upon procedures, we are engaged to carry out procedures of an audit nature to which the client and us have agreed in order to provide a report on our factual findings.
This can take any format – for example to verify a list of expenses to invoices, to verify the timely submission of bonds for real estate agents, to investigate specific transactions where fraud is suspected, to confirm debtors or creditors with the parties involved or to test the compliance to internal controls policies. An agreed-upon procedures engagement may be commissioned by an entity which is acquiring another business. The entity may engage an audit to report on specific aspects of the business that it is buying.
We agree the exact procedures to be performed with you before the start of the engagement. This could involve verifying a full list of transactions for example, whereas an audit only test a sample of transactions.
We also do not draw a conclusion from the results of our procedures, but only report on the factual findings. So if a creditor balance did not agree to a confirmation obtained, we would state that.
The report is restricted to those parties that have agreed to the procedures to be performed since others, unaware of the reasons for the procedures may misinterpret the results.