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Credibility counts

As chartered accountants, we are in a powerful position: we have the tools and expertise to enhance the trustworthiness of business information.

Assurance services can add credibility by providing an independent report on subject matter, ranging from the design of a system of controls to a company’s financial statements and beyond – and audit exemption gives rise to a newly-open market.

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Audit remains the gold standard for assurance over the financial statements. An audit report always provides an opinion, giving the highest reasonable level of assurance. However, an audit may be more than many small companies need or want.

In some jurisdictions, such as Denmark and South Africa, an assurance option has been made mandatory for audit-exempt companies. Elsewhere, legislation gives a more subtle recognition to alternatives to audit, as in Canada where many companies that are exempt from mandatory audit must still appoint an accountant.

This is an extract from an article in the September 2013 edition of Audit & Beyond, the magazine of the Audit and Assurance Faculty.

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