- Annual financial statements preparation. More commonly known as a 'Compilation Engagement', the basic service that most small family businesses require is the annual financial statements preparation.
This is the 'entry-level' service that many small businesses take from us. They do so because they do not need an audit or a review engagement, and because this level of accounting service is usually perfectly adequate for most types of business and ownership structure.
- Review Engagement. In the review engagement, you, the client, prepares the financial statements, and our role is (naturally) to review them and offer an opinion. The value in this service is that third parties may want to lend you money (such as your bank) and they will seek the peace of mind of having your financial statements reviewed by a CPA.
- Audit. An audit takes the review a step further and here we are offering an opinion on the truth and fairness of the financial statements at the balance sheet date.
Not something a small family business needs - especially if there are no outside investors or part owners and the family deal with most of the financial transactions themselves.
For the larger client, with sophisticated systems and many employees, an audit offers peace of mind. Although not to be relied upon to find fraud or other financial irregularities, it can often act as a deterrent if your controller knows that the financial statements will be audited.