Accountants’ reports can be an opportunity for auditors to develop new revenue streams and provide valuable services to clients. Audit & Beyond outlines the options, the issues to think about and the support available from ICAEW.
The professional life of an accountant does not begin and end with audit – even if it sometimes seems this way. As well as being engaged to perform financial statement audits, firms offer general accounts preparation and tax compliance work, and many will also get requests for other types of accountants’ reports from a variety of sources and on a variety of matters. They may be produced purely for the client or because a third party (who has a relationship with the client) has requested them. Some of these may be required by a government, trade body or regulator to meet legislative or regulatory requirements – and it is mainly these types of regulatory report that this article focuses on.
These accountants’ reports can take the form of assurance reports where an opinion is provided, or they may take the form of a report based on a set of agreed-upon procedures (AUP). An AUP engagement involves performing certain specified procedures on factual information and reporting the findings without giving any form of opinion on the implications of the work performed. Management or other users of the AUP report are able to draw their own conclusion on the basis of the work performed by the accountant. Some engagements with clients and other third parties may contain a mixture of AUP reports and reports with an opinion, such as in the case of Air Travel Organisation’s License (ATOL) reporting to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
So the list of possible report requests is long and varied and we have sen a fair few examples in the faculty over the years. They include accountants’ reports on government grants and loans, applications for other facilities and funding, charity street collections, service charge accounts, mortgage references, profit forecasts and the safeguarding of client monies, to name but a few
This is an extract from an article in the May 2016 edition of Audit & Beyond, the magazine of the Audit and Assurance Faculty.
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