AUPs can take you many steps toward achieving the credibility you require.
An AUP engagement is pretty much what the name describes: an engagement designed by the client and the appropriate third-party or parties specifying procedures for the CPA firm to perform. The two parties understand the goal(s) to be accomplished and guide the CPA with procedures they wish to be performed against some objective criteria or framework while the CPA delivers his/her expertise and independence. Generally, CPA reports provide the firm’s “opinion” or views on a subject, but an AUP report provides “just the facts” following the outlined blueprint. It describes the steps performed and the results or findings.
The subject matter of an AUP might be financial or non-financial. And while the nature, timing, and extent of the procedures can vary widely between AUPs, two things remain consistent.
- The report’s recipients are responsible for the sufficiency of the procedures and form their own conclusions based upon the data included in the report.
- The AUP report is restricted to the audience that agreed to the procedures because outside parties, who are unaware of the report’s purpose, might misinterpret the results.