Auditing and Reviewing Financial Statements, Preparing Full-Disclosure Compilations
Our attest group, which includes preparing certified audits, reviewed financial statements, and full-disclosure compiled financials, is a core practice area of our firm. We allocate a significant amount of our resources – in terms of human capital and financial resources – to maintain an attest practice that is second to none. We are dedicated to performing and delivering audited, reviewed, and compiled financial statements on time and under budget. Our firm is a member of the AICPA’s Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center and a member of the Governmental Audit Quality Center.
PROFESSIONAL STAFF Each staff member at our firm that performs attest services must commit to dozens of hours of training, including internal and external courses, every year. We never place our staff members in a situation for which they are not totally prepared and trained. Any audit or review is an intensive process and we take our professional responsibilities seriously, as any best-practice CPA firm should. We know that owners, shareholders, banks, and other third parties have required the financial statements for specific reasons and no CPA firm should simply crank through the numbers and spit out financial statements – our rigorous professional standards do not allow such an approach.
We form audit “teams” for each of our audits. Each engagement is thoroughly planned with the client in mind, with consideration for the client’s specific situation, finances, and stakeholders. Our internal planning and processes are at the core of what we do, and we constantly brainstorm and question the assumptions, all in the effort to deliver the best produce and the best feedback to our clients. With us, it is about much more than just delivering financial statements; it is about understanding the client’s unique business, controls, and providing feedback in a meaningful manner. Due to the intensive nature of the procedures required to produce the financial statements, performing audits and reviews, compared to preparing compiled financials statements without footnotes, are expensive endeavors – there is no way around that fact. Attest services require a serious financial and time commitment from our clients, and we take our responsibilities very seriously.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT LEVEL OF SERVICE When you work with us, you will immediately gain a comfort level, as you see us commit to understanding your business and your processes. Unlike other CPA firms that rush to deliver the most expensive services possible without question, we work with our clients, their professional advisors, and the stakeholders to determine the proper level of services. We will not advocate for the most complicated level of service in order to fatten our bottom line; we seek to provide the level of service that best fits the situation, and we will advocate for the lowest cost service wherever possible. Because we are part of the process, we work with all parties to determine what level of services is in the best interests of all parties. We believe in protecting your resources as we would our own.
Even when an audit or review is required, we will continue to be objective and look for ways to make the process as efficient as possible. For instance, in some cases it is not necessary to deliver GAAP-based audited financial statements; tax-based statements or cash-based statements, both of which are generally less complex and less expensive to conduct, may be just as effective and may satisfy the needs of all involved parties. We will question the need for every engagement and we insist on “kicking the tires” to see if there is a better way.
INDUSTRY & SERVICE CLIENTS While we perform many audits of a given type, we do not limit our expertise to any one industry. Our audit and review clients span multiple industries in various locations throughout the United States. Businesses in the service, transportation, manufacturing, assembly and distribution, and retail sectors turn to us to perform audits that are often required by banks, lenders, or other stakeholders. Many of our clients have multiple locations throughout the U.S. and our audit work has taken us to many states.
FOREIGN-OWNED ENTITIES We also conduct a number of audit and review engagements for subsidiaries or components of foreign-owned entities. As a part of these audits, we often work with the auditors of the consolidated financial statements for the parent entity. Because teamwork is at the core of our firm internally, we find it very natural to work in a team atmosphere with the parent auditors. Our work for foreign-owned entities also includes performing agreed-upon procedure engagements and detailed consulting engagements, designed specifically to meet the needs of the parent entity and the U.S. subsidiary.
GOVERNMENTAL We also do extensive work for governmental entities. Our work in the government arena includes preparing audited financial statements, compliance testing and reporting, A-133 audits, and internal control reports for governmental agencies.
NONPROFITS Nonprofits are another area where we have developed a large client following. Most of our nonprofit audit clients are in the Chicagoland area, but we have also performed work on nonprofits in California and Arizona. We, in particular, try to be a cost-effective option for nonprofits that face audit requirements with limited financial resources. We take special pride in the work that we have done for youth baseball, football, soccer and basketball programs, as well as for the work we have done for organizations that focus on the health and welfare of families and youth and organizations that focus on our heritage and the environment.
PEER REVIEW In order to provide audit and review services, our firm undergoes an intensive peer review process, which is essentially an audit of the auditors.