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Additional Assurance Services: Other Information. Assurance and Attestation Services. Assurance Services – broad range of information enhancing services provided by CPAs. AICPA def. – services that “improve the quality of information, or its context, for decision makers.”

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Assurance and Attestation Services

  • Assurance Services – broad range of information enhancing services provided by CPAs.

  • AICPA def. – services that “improve the quality of information, or its context, for decision makers.”

  • Two types of assurance services:

    1. Those that increase information reliability (attest)

    2. Those that involve putting information into a certain form or context


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Assurance and Attestation Services

Attest engagement as defined by AICPA:

a practitioner is engaged to issue or does issue an examination, a review, or an agreed-upon procedures report on subject matter or an assertion about subject matter that is the responsibility of another party.


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Relationship Between Assurance and Attestation

Assurance Services

Assurance Services that are Attestation Services

Historical Financial

Statement Related

Other Information

  • Audits

  • Reviews

  • Special Reports

  • Personal financials

  • Comfort letters

  • Prospective financial information

  • Compliance

  • WebTrust

  • SysTrust

  • Internal control

  • Other:

  • ElderCare


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Important Aspects of an Attest Engagement

  • Subject matter

  • Reasonable criteria

  • Attestation risk and materiality


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Subject Matter

  • Historical or prospective performance or condition

  • Physical characteristics

  • Historical events

  • Analyses

  • Systems or processes

  • Behavior


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Criteria

  • Suitable

    • Objective

    • Permits reasonable consistent measurements

    • Complete

    • Relevant

  • Available (and understandable)

    • Publicly available

    • Presented in a summary, the assertion or the practitioners’ report


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Attestation Risk and Materiality

  • Attestation risk

    • Analogous to audit risk

      • Inherent risk, control risk and detection risk

  • Materiality

    • May be considered in quantitative or qualitative terms.

    • Often difficult to measure for non-financial or qualitative subject matter.

    • Professional judgment especially important for qualitative subject matter.


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Character of Attestation Engagements

  • Examinations

  • Reviews

  • Agreed-upon procedures


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Examination Report

INDEPENDENT ACCOUNTANTS’ REPORT

We have examined the accompanying schedule of investment performance statistics of Keller Investment Fund for the year ended December 31, 20X2. This schedule is the responsibility of Keller Investment Fund’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on this schedule based on our examination.

Our examination was conducted in accordance with attestation standards established by the American

Institute of Certified Public Accountants and, accordingly, included examining, on a test basis, evidence

supporting the schedule and performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the

circumstances. We believe that our examination provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.

In our opinion, the schedule of investment performance statistics referred to above presents fairly, in all

material respects, the performance of Keller Investment Fund for the year ended December 31, 20X2,

in conformity with the measurement and disclosure criteria set forth by the Association of Investment

Management Research, Inc., as described in Note 1.

Will Bailey, CPA

January 30, 20X3


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Examples of Assurance Services

  • Financial forecasts and projections

    • Forecasts may be for general use, while projections should have restricted use.

    • Both should include:

      • Certain minimum prospective financial statement items and background information.

      • List of major assumptions and accounting policies.

    • Only examinations or agreed-upon procedures (attestation standards prohibit reviews of prospective financial information).

      • Opinions from examinations may be unqualified, qualified, adverse or disclaimer.


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Examples of Assurance Services

  • Assurance on Internal Control

    • Must have control criteria, such as COSO’s Internal Control – Integrated Framework.

    • Increased scope over consideration of internal control for audit purposes.

    • CPA is required to obtain an appropriate assertion from management concerning internal control.

      • May report on either internal control directly or the assertion.

    • Only examinations or agreed-upon procedures (standards prohibit reviews of internal control).

      • Opinions from examinations may be unqualified, qualified, adverse or disclaimer.

      • Examination of internal control now required as part of financial statement audit for public companies under Sarbanes-Oxley 2002.


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Management Report on Internal Control

Winstad Company maintains internal control over financial reporting, which is designed to provide reasonable assurance to the Company's management and board of directors regarding the preparation of reliable published financial statements. Internal control contains self-monitoring mechanisms, and actions are taken to correct deficiencies as they are identified. Even with effective internal control, no matter how well designed, has inherent limitations---including the possibility of the circumvention or overriding of controls---and therefore can provide only reasonable assurance with respect to financial statement preparation. Further, because of changes in conditions, internal control effectiveness may vary over time.

The Company assessed its internal control as of December 31, 20x5, in relation to criteria for effective internal control over financial reporting described in Internal Control---Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. Based on this assessment, the Company believes that, as of December 31, 20x5, its internal control over financial reporting met those criteria.

Winstad Company

by Will Jones

Chief Executive Officer

January 20, 20x6 by Linda Beok

Chief Financial Officer


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Accountants’ Report on Internal ControlFirst Paragraph

We have examined management's assertion that Winstad Company has maintained an effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 20X5, included in the accompanying Management Report on Internal Control, based on the criteria for effective internal control over financial reporting established in Internal Control – Integrated Framework, issued by COSO of the Treadway Commission. Winstad Company’s management is responsible for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on management’s assertions based on our examination.


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Accountants’ Report on Internal Control Second Paragraph

Our examination was made in accordance with standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and, accordingly, included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control, and such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our examination provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.


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Accountants’ Report on Internal Control Third Paragraph

Because of inherent limitations of internal control, errors or irregularities may occur and not be detected. Also, projections of any evaluation of internal control over financial reporting to future periods are subject to the risk that internal control may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.


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Accountants’ Report on Internal Control Fourth Paragraph

In our opinion, management's assertion that Winstad Company has maintained an effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 20X5, is fairly stated, in all material respects, based upon criteria established in Internal Control---Integrated Framework issued by the Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission.


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Examples of Assurance Services

  • WebTrust – Assurance on Electronic Commerce

    • Typical assertions

      • Disclosure of business practices for electronic transactions and execution of transactions in accordance with the disclosed practices.

      • Maintenance of effective controls to provide reasonable assurance that customers orders were completed and billed as agreed.

      • Maintenance of effective controls to provide reasonable assurance that private customer information was protected from unrelated uses.

    • Report may be examination or agreed-upon procedures

      • Report covers period of at least two months and must be updated at least annually.


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Examples of Assurance Services

  • Systrust – Assurance on System Reliability

    • Evaluation of the following four principles of a reliable system (criteria):

      • Availability. The system was available for use at times set forth in service-level statements or agreements.

      • Security. The system was protected against unauthorized physical or logical access.

      • Integrity. The system processing was complete, accurate, timely and authorized.

      • Maintainability. The system could be updated when required in a manner that continued to provide for system availability, security, and integrity.

    • Report may be examination or agreed-upon procedures

      • Report covers period of at least two months and must be updated at least annually.


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Examples of Assurance Services

  • Eldercare services

    • CPAs provide assurance to individuals that the needs of elderly family members with assisted-living are being met. May include reporting on:

      • Financial matters

      • Performance of healthcare providers

      • Performance of caregivers


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