Audit & assurance

 

Your accountant is likely to be the one who puts the financial statements together, and then if they are to be audited, the auditor will review them and make sure they are backed up by the financial records.  In most cases the auditors will be from a different firm than your accountants.

The audit does not check that every single transaction was correctly recorded but instead involves reviews of the financial processes of your business (to make sure that there are ‘internal controls’ in place to protect the business against fraud and unnecessary loss) and testing of a sample of transactions to make sure your records appear to be correct.  As well as looking at your books and records the auditor is likely to sit down with you, the business owner / manager, at some point and ask how you process financial transactions and why various elements of income and expenditure have gone up or down in the year.

Once the auditors are satisfied, they will sign off your accounts – and if they are not they may issue what’s called a ‘qualified opinion’ which means they are not completely satisfied that the financial statements present a ‘true and fair view’ of your business.  But if you have been working closely with your accountant or bookkeeper during the year you should not find yourself in this situation.