Those including financial statements, management accounts, management reports. or others report like compliant reports.
Mostly, those reports are issued based on the result of auditors’ professional examination against the measurement criteria or standards.
For example, auditors perform their audit on the client’s financial statements against the accounting standard that used to prepare those financial statements.
In other words, they review whether or not financial statements are prepared true and fair view in accordance with the accounting standards. Those standards could be IFRS, US GAAP or local GAAP.
The audit report is used by many stakeholders including the entity’s management, the board of directors, shareholders, investors, government bodies, banks, and many others.
In most cases, the audit report is issued to cover financial statements over 12 months or a year period.
The government agency uses the audit reports and financial statements to assess the completeness and accuracy of the tax declaration.
Shareholders and the board of directors use the audit report to assess the integrity of management and transparency of financial statements.
Different types of audit report contain different audit’s opinions and the main cause are from the different of misstatements found in the financial statements. Different types of audit reports represent a different level of assurance.
Here are the four types of report that we mentioned above,
Four Types of Audit Reports:
There are four types of audit reports issued by auditors on financial statements. Each type of report contains different meanings and messages from auditors to users of financial statements.
Those audit reports included the Unqualified Audit Report (Clean Audit Report), Qualified Audit Report, Disclaimer Audit Report, and Adverse Audit Report. The following are the detail of audit reports.
#1 Unqualified Audit Report (Clean Audit Report):
Unqualified Audit Report issued by the auditor to financial statements when auditors found no material misstatements after their testing. This report contains an unqualified opinion from an independent auditor.
The report showed that the entity financial statements are prepared and present true and fair and complying with the accounting framework being used.
This is a good sign for all kinds of stakeholders that willing to uses the financial statements. You might find whether the audit report is clean or not in the opinion paragraph.
Unqualified Audit report not only apparently shown to the shareholders that financial statements are a true and fair presentation, and free from all material misstatements.
But also imply that the management team has high integrity to the shareholders.
However, before putting your truth on the audit report, make sure that the auditor who issued the reports are from independence audit firms. Big four audit firms are the firm that most of the shareholders put their truth on.
#2 Qualified Audit Report:
For example, the opening balance of the entity contains a large number of inventories that could not verify.
In this case, the auditor issue a qualified audit opinion on the qualified audit report. However, if the auditor thinks that the misstatement is pervasive, they will issue the adverse opinion in their report.
This kind of report, only inventories that mention are matters. Others information in the financial statements is true and fair.
The term of seriousness, the qualified audit report is more serious than unqualified due to material misstatements on the mention items or accounts in the financial statements.
#3 Adverse Audit Report:
The misstatements found here are different from the material misstatements found in qualified audit reports.
They are not only material misstated for themselves but also affect others accounts and items in the whole financial statements. These are called pervasive.
That means all the items and accounts in the whole financial statements could not be trusted by shareholders, investors, and other stakeholders.
In this report, auditors will list down the client name, financial statements that they were audited and the period the financial statements covered.
Auditor will also state all misstatements found and how they are affected the financial statements and as well as the users of financial statements.
In most cases, auditors also state all the material found the Others Matters which is the message to the users of financial statements to be aware of when they read the financial statements for their own purpose.
#4 Disclaimer Audit Report:
The disclaimer audit report is the report that issues the financial statements where there is matter to auditor’s independence and those mater cause auditors not be able to obtain sufficient audit evidence to support their opinion.
This has happened when auditors are prevented to access to certain information related to items or accounts in financial statements while those items or accounts are believed to be materially misstated and pervasive.
Auditors might not issue the disclaimer opinion if the restrictions are made only the items or accounts that material misstated but not pervasive.
Advantages of Audit Reports:
- Provide assurance on Financial Statements. Audit reports issued by a professional and independence auditor which is operational independence from the management of the entity. The report issued from them could help the users of the financial statement to assure that financial information is correct or not.
- Prove management integrity on their shareholders. As auditor is independence from management, the report could prove whether managements are honest to their shareholders or not. This is related to principle and agency theory.
- It is the requirement of law and regulation. Most of the countries required the entities which have the specific criteria to have their financial statements audited by independent auditors. Those criteria like annual turnover, the value of assets, and the number of employees. The auditor is the evidence that could prove to the government that the entity is complying with the law.
- It is the requirement of shareholders. Most of the corporate shareholders want their entity’s financial statements to be audited. This report is examined by the experts and express into the easy words that could be understood by most of the shareholders who do not have financial or audit background.
- Parent company’s requirement. Many parent companies that have subsidiaries operating in other countries or even in the same country normally required their subsidiaries’ financial statements to be audited. This report could help them manage the subsidiary even more effectively.
- Help stakeholders to understand about entity’s financial and operational situation. This is probably the most important point. The auditor is required to state the auditor report whether the entity has any going concern problem or not. This includes financial and non-financial problems that could lead the entity to face bankruptcy in the next foreseeable period from the audit report date.
Limitation of Audit Reports:
- The scope of the audit might be limited by management. This is a popular discussion about audit’ issues. In the audit standard, auditors should have the full right to access any kind of information that could help them to obtain audit evidence to express their opinion. However, in practice, management might try their best to prevent auditors to obtain some sensitive information. These are probably the management don’t fully trust auditors ethic related to confidentiality or management themselves have integrity problems. These problems might prevent auditors to provide the best quality of audit opinion that it should be.
- Time too constraints for auditors. In practice, auditor normally faces time constraints which do not provide them enough time to perform their testing as they should be.
- Auditors’ Independence. The code of ethics required auditors to stay independence from their audit clients. This is to make sure that auditors do not bias when they perform their works as well as when they issue audit opinion.
- Risks that might not detect by auditors: Inherent Risks and Fraud Risks. Audit standard requires auditors to have proper audit planning as well as risks assessment. This is to make sure that the auditing quality is maintained, and audit risks are identified and minimize. However, these things could not auditor to eliminate all kind of risks of material misstatement from financial statements. For example, inherent risks and fraud risks.
- Auditors Qualification and Competency. This is also an important point. We all know that in order to run an audit firm, someone who represents the firm needs to hold CPA qualification. But the thing is because of the competition, and because of the number of works, the quality of the audit report might have some problems. As you may know
As listed above, there are four types of audit reports and those reports are different because of the nature of material misstatements found by auditors.
Different types of audit reports contain different audit opinions. The unqualified report issued for the financial statements that contain no material misstatement.
The auditor will issue an adverse opinion when the financial statement contains pervasive misstatement. Yet, they will disclaim not to express their opinion if they could not have enough to review financial statements.