What Is an Attestation Service?
An attest service, or attestation service, is an independent survey of a company's financial statement directed by a certified public accountant (CPA). The CPA conveys an attestation report with decisions about the unwavering quality of the data.
The standards for attestation services are developed and distributed by a professional services group, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). In recent years, the standards have been refreshed to mirror a more extensive scope of attest services unrelated to financial reports. For example, a company could request an attest service on its consumer privacy statement.
Understanding the Attest Service
In law, an attestation is a declaration by a witness that a legal document was appropriately endorsed within the sight of the witness. Basically, it affirms that a document is substantial. A notary public gives an attestation to documents.
In finance, an attestation service is a CPA's declaration that the numbers are accurate and dependable. As the service is completed by an independent party, it approves the financial data prepared by internal accountants.
There are three principal types of attest functions including an extensive examination, a survey of an examination completed by another party, and a partial examination that is limited to an analysis of specific procedures.
- An exhaustive examination closes with the CPA communicating an opinion on the overall precision and integrity of a company's financial statement. This level of examination is the equivalent of a financial audit.
- A survey is like a subsequent assessment. It affirms the consequences of a previous audit or reveals any issues that could have been missed.
- A partial examination is limited to specific parts of the company's bookkeeping processes.
Each of the three attest functions must follow standards set by the AICPA with respect to audit strategy, independence, and articulation of assessment.
CPAs progressively are approached to perform attest services on non-financial documents, for example, security and privacy control statements.
The attestation survey is one of the main duties of a CPA. In 2011, Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) No. 16 supplanted Statements on Auditing Standards (SAS) No. 70 as the definitive aide for CPAs performing audits.
This document, called AT Section 801 of SSAE No. 16, frames the objectives of an attest function. It additionally expands the definition. As per AICPA, certified public accountants progressively are being approached to perform attest services on non-financial procedures. These frequently are intended to demonstrate compliance with complex government regulations and requirements. They could remember reports for security procedures, privacy controls, and ozone harming substance outflow reports, to refer to a couple of models.
- A company may likewise look for a survey or a partial examination.
- After an extensive survey, a CPA conveys an assessment on the integrity of the numbers in the statement.
- An attest function is a CPA's survey of a company's financial statement.