THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AUDIT & ASSURANCE SERVICES
There are occasions where the words audit and assurance are used interchangeably. However, there are several key fundamental distinctions between the two widely used terminologies that can be used to describe the distinction.
By AZIZAM AZIZAN
Audit and assurance services are both essential in evaluating a company’s financial records. These processes are practiced to ensure that a company’s financial records are accurate. This aids in determining whether or not the record is correct. Audit and assurance also ensure that all records are maintained in accordance with current accounting practises. There is, however, a distinction between audit and assurance services. So, without further ado, below are the main distinctions between assurance and auditing services.
During an audit, the accounting entries in the financial record of a business are carefully examined. The audit committee attempts to assess the accuracy of a financial report by examining its core features. There are some of them:
- Authenticity and accuracy
- Adheres to accounting rules and guidelines.
- Presented in an honest and ethical way
This procedure aids in the detection of any erroneous entries in financial statements, such as theft, misappropriation of funds, or fraudulent conduct. The investigation is carried out by both external and internal auditors. Internal auditors are business staff who carry out internal audits. External auditors, on the other hand, are professional auditors and are not affiliated with the entity being audited.
External audits are conducted by a company’s accounting department at regular intervals. This aids in the verification of the financial statements and ensures that it adheres to accounting principles. Nonetheless, a corporation is obligated to retain external auditors in order to obtain an objective audit report.
Let’s look at assurance providers after we’ve discussed the audit. It entails a process of evaluating financial statements and accounting transactions. Independent experts offer assurance programmes, which aim to increase the accuracy of evidence for decision-makers. Assurance providers, for example, may examine any financial arrangement or paper, such as a loan or a lease.
This ensures that the text under examination is factual, genuine, and accurate. Furthermore, assurance providers can help businesses navigate the challenges and uncertainties that come with working with third parties. Assurance is a method of improving a company’s information’s importance, value, and openness.
The main distinction between assurance and audit services is the primary goal. Assurance is not intended to correct errors discovered in financial reports. The true object of this practise, on the other hand, is to determine a company’s conformity with accounting rules and principles.
Assurance is based on important factors such as a review of the processes used during a company’s financial activities. As a result, the assurance committee has a close eye on the processes and procedures. The guarantee states that in order to achieve optimal outputs, a certain protocol must be implemented.
The five elements of assurance commitment are mentioned below:
- Friendship with three parties (Practitioner, Responsible party, and Intended users)
- Subject matter that is important
- Appropriate standards
- Sufficient proof
- A published report’s assertion or statement of view
The primary goal of assurance is to determine if a company’s financial records are correct. This procedure ensures that no illegal acts are carried out by or inside the corporation. It also eliminates the possibility of any misrepresentation of a company’s financial records.
In addition, assurance is a method of observing and analysing a mechanism, technique, or service. It means that the accuracy of knowledge available to an organisation is improved. As a result, stakeholders will make significant decisions that benefit a company’s development. This method is also effective in a variety of situations, including consumer reviews, employee feedback, and financial data.
IMPORTANT DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN AUDIT AND ASSURANCE
The following are the main distinctions between audit and assurance:
- An audit is a process of carefully scrutinizing the accounting data of a company’s financial records. On the other hand, assurance entails evaluating and analyzing various activities, methods, and procedures.
- Another significant distinction between audit and assurance providers is the procedures’ primary goals. The audit guarantees the financial records are published in a fair, ethical, and reliable manner, and that they adhere to accounting practices and values. Assurance assesses the integrity of financial reports/records and communicates the information’s validity to all stakeholders.
- An auditor has expanded powers, which enable him or her to have access to any kind of data. In the other hand, since this procedure applies to a single region in the company’s financial statements, the confirmation auditor is given less powers.
- As opposed to assurance systems, auditing takes more time and money.
- The audit is the first stage, and the assurance process begins after the audit is over.
- An audit is a method of uncovering some deceptive or unethical conduct, such as misappropriation of funds or misrepresentation of evidence. Assurance provides stakeholders with accurate and reliable knowledge that aids in making informed decisions.
It entails a review of the accounting data contained in financial statements.
Assurance is a technique for examining and evaluating policies, activities, and systems.
The main goal is to present reliable and equitable financial data while adhering to accounting rules and practises.
It ensures that the presented accounting information is accurate. Meaning thereby, there are no misrepresentations or irregularity in such a report.
The audit is carried out in accordance with international auditing guidelines.
The practitioner may restrict to a specific area due to the assurance terms.
A company’s owners are all involved.
Assurance may restrict to one type of stakeholder
An audit needs more resources and effort than a regular audit.
Resources and time required for assurance are relatively lower
In financial accounts, auditing identifies any dishonesty or diversion of funds.
Assurance is done after the audit and provides essential information for better decision making.