Clients with lending or other contractual requirements for audited or reviewed financial
statements can benefit from a managed approach to the attestation process. Rather than
standing back and letting things happen or abandoning your business to keep an eye on
the auditors, you can relax, secure in the knowledge that your interests are being
Traditionally the auditor was viewed as an advisor and, although independent, an extension
of management. The accounting scandals uncovered at Enron, Worldcom, Global Crossing
and others have resulted in profound changes in the accounting, and specifically the
auditing, profession. The Sorbanes-Oxley Act, while directed at public companies, drives a
wedge between the auditor and the client making it more difficult and more expensive for
the typical small business owner to comply with audit requirements.
We do not replace the independent accountant who audits your financial statements.
Rather, we work with your independent accountant and manage the audit process so that
you can still run your business. We can negotiate fees and review and negotiate audit work
plans so that necessary work is done efficiently and unnecessary work is not done at all.
Working with clients and with auditors we can ensure that the underlying accounting
documentation is available when needed and in useable form. We can coordinate the use
of client staff or our own to perform PBC ("prepared by client") work minimizing the time
required by more expensive audit staff. Finally, as your independent accountant will point
out, the financial statements are yours so they might as well tell your financial story in its
best light while complying with applicable standards. We can document and articulate your
position on controversial issues so that your financial statements are not presented in the
most conservative form, just to be safe, or the way the auditor likes to see them, but are
realistic presentations of your company's financial health, in conformity with applicable
standards, but as useful as possible.
The benefits are realized in the form of:
· lower audit fees,
· better relationships with your independent accountant and lender, and
· reduced demands on you and your staff.