Attest Services Information
In Tennessee, only Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) operating within a licensed CPA firm can provide attest services.
CPAs who provide attest services must adhere to professional standards and ethical guidelines to ensure objectivity and independence. CPA firms that perform attest work must also be enrolled in an approved Peer Review Program and undergo a peer review once every three years.
What are attest services?
Attest services involve the examination and evaluation of financial information, systems, processes, or controls in order to provide an independent and objective assessment. These services are designed to enhance the reliability and usefulness of financial information for various stakeholders, such as investors, creditors, management, and regulatory bodies. Attest services are intended to provide confidence in the accuracy and integrity of the information being examined.
Attest services can encompass several types of engagements, including:
- Audit – This is the most well-known type of attest service. An audit involves the thorough examination of financial statements and supporting documentation to determine whether they present a true and fair view of the financial position and performance of an entity. Audits are conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards and often result in an auditor’s opinion on the financial statements.
- Review – In a review engagement, CPAs perform limited analytical procedures to provide a moderate level of assurance that the financial statements are free from material misstatements. While reviews are less comprehensive than audits, they still involve inquires and analytical procedures to identify potential issues.
- Compilation – In a compilation engagement, CPAs assist in assembling financial information provided by a client into financial statements. However, no assurance is provided on the accuracy or completeness of the information. This is the least extensive form of attest service.
- Agreed-Upon Procedures – In this type of engagement, CPAs perform specific procedures that are agreed upon with the client or other stakeholder. The results of these procedures are reported without providing an overall conclusion or opinion.
How do I find a CPA firm that performs attest work?
Use verify.tn.gov to search for and verify the status of a Tennessee CPA license and/or CPA Firm Permit.
Use the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) Public File to locate firms enrolled in the AICPA Peer Review Program. A firm must be enrolled in the Peer Review Program to perform attest services.