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What is the difference between a prepared, compiled, reviewed, and audited set of financial statements?

The prepared financial statement requires no verification of the independence of the auditor. The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) takes the client information and puts it in the financial statement format without providing any assurance on the accuracy and completeness of the information. It has the lowest form of reliability of the different services on financial statements that can be provided by a CPA. In a compiled financial statement, the CPA is required to evaluate and disclose his or her independence with regards to the entity being audited and evaluate the financial statements for obvious material misstatements. The CPA is required to associate his or her name to the financial statements in a compilation report, but does not provide an opinion. In a review of financial statements, the CPA analyzes the information provided by the client and enquires about any unusual trends. There is no independent verification of the detailed accounting transactions. However, the CPA does provide limited assurance on the financial statements. An audited financial statement provides an independent verification of the information presented in the financial statement. This service provides the highest level of reliability and assurance. For more information, see our training module, The Auditors Report.

What is the difference between a prepared, compiled, reviewed, and audited set of financial statements?
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