Assurance is a broad term used to define services offered typically by a Chartered Professional Accounting Firm to reduce the risk of inaccurate financial statements. For all types of organizations, from the small to the large global companies, making sound business decisions requires reliable financial reporting information. Assurance services help business leaders and stakeholders in all industries to communicate a fair picture of their financial performance.
It is important to understand which service your business needs based on the needs of management, debtors, shareholders and other stakeholders.
Notice to Reader/Compilation (NTR)
Simply put, a notice to reader involves creating a set of financial statements from the information provided by a client or business, no additional work is performed. That is why there is a ‘notice’ to the reader, indicating that the statements are not audited or reviewed.
Some organizations do not need financial statements containing all disclosures normally required for general purpose use, nor do they need the assurance that can be provided by an audit or a review. In a notice to reader the financial statements are compiled using information supplied by management or proprietor. No assurance is offered in compiling the statements. Compiled financial statements are often prepared to prepare and accompany an organization’s tax returns
The scope of a review is less than that of an audit and therefore the level of assurance provided is lower, usually negative assurance, or that nothing unusual was noted. During a review, the professional will assess whether the information being reported on appears to be plausible, primarily through inquiry, analytical procedures and discussion. A review of financial statements is often performed for banks, creditors and potential purchasers.
The purpose of an audit is to enhance the degree of confidence in the financial statements. This is achieved by the expression of an opinion on whether the financial statements are prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework. An Audit is generally performed when outside third parties (such as regulators, banks, creditors, potential purchasers and outside investors) require an auditor’s opinion on the financial statements.
Deloitte Assurance & Advisory