The financial assurance services that CPA firms provide most often are related to internal financial projections, due diligence for a transaction involving another company, and reports on individual financial components within a company. CPAs evaluate existing information, but they might also provide context about the information, or assess the relevance of the information. In some cases, an examination of financial measurements at a company could indicate that the company is using insufficient data to measure a specific component of its finances.
An audit is a systematic review and assessment of information or documents.
There are a few different types of audit but, in the specific context of professional services, an audit is usually financial. It is intended to provide reasonable assurance, but not absolute assurance, that the financial statements give a true and fair view in accordance with the financial reporting framework. Not all companies are required by law to have audits. Many companies who do not require audits by law opt to have their financial information assured independently, usually by accountancy firms. Assurance is a professional service with the aim of improving the quality and transparency of information, to reduce the chance of problems occurring from incorrect information. An audit is a type of assurance service.
Assurance services can be regulatory or compliance-based. They work to ensure that a company or organization is following guidelines, rules and policy, and provide both internal and external confidence for financial statements.
We currently do not provide Audit services but help select an auditor from a pool of firms that we have relationships with, depending upon the type of assurance required.
Some services that fall into the category of assurance services are not directly related to finances, but an assurance firm can still provide you with value in these areas. For instance, CPA firms provide assurance services in the area of data security, performance claims, quality control, and environmental performance. With many of the non-financial assurance services, CPA firms are not the only types of companies that work in the field, so competition for the work can extend far beyond the competition for auditing work. In the area of data security, for instance, information security consultancies also provide assurance services.