» Review Service
Although a review is less extensive than an audit, review procedures do provide a basis for expressing limited assurance that the accountant did not become aware of any material changes that should be made to the financial statements. Essentially, a review is designed to enable an accountant, without applying comprehensive audit procedures, to assess management's representations and to consider whether the financial statements appear to be in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles. To perform a review, the accountant must be familiar with the company's business and the accounting practices of its industry. Based on this knowledge, the accountant inquiries about the company's accounting practices and procedures, financial statements and other matters, and performs analytical procedures to identify unusual items or trends.
Performing such inquiry and analytical procedures provide the accountant with a reasonable basis for expressing limited assurance that there are no material modifications that should be made to the statement in order for them to be in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles.
The objective of a review differs significantly from the objective of an audit of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. The objective of an audit is to provide a reasonable basis for expressing an opinion regarding the financial statements taken as a whole. A review does not provide a basis for the expression of such an opinion because a review does not contemplate obtaining an understanding of the internal control structure or assessing control risk; tests of accounting records and of responses to inquiries by obtaining corroborating evidential matter through inspection, observation or confirmation and certain other procedures ordinarily performed during an audit. A review may bring to the accountant's attention significant matters affecting the financial statements, but it does not provide assurance that the account will become aware of all significant matters that could be disclosed in an audit.
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.