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Unaudited opinions are evaluations that are made by financial experts, such as a Certified Public Accountant. However, these evaluations are not the result of a thorough examination of all pertinent financial records associated with a company or organization. Generally, the CPA will consider broad information regarding the financial status of the entity, and base his or her opinion on those broad assumptions. An unaudited opinion is not considered a financial tool that is used in place of an audit, but rather an excellent means of obtaining some general recommendations from the CPA.
Because an unaudited opinion is not prepared from an intensive evaluation of the finances of the organization, there is often some variance in how CPAs will go about providing his or her opinion. Some finance professionals may respond only after making a cursory look at the records of the entity, while others may simply ask a series of questions and go by the answers provided. An unaudited opinion may be very broad in terms of the comments contained within the response, or they may be very detailed. In all situations, an unaudited opinion is not understood to carry the same weight as an audit.
A company may choose to request an unaudited opinion for a number of reasons. If there are specific questions about one aspect of the company finances, a CPA may be consulted for some general recommendations. This may include some ideas on where to cut costs in one area in order to fund growth in a different area, or simply ways to streamline expenses in order to increase the bottom line. Because an unaudited opinion is not as time or labor intensive as a full-fledged audit, it is usually to receive an answer in a relatively short period of time.
The unaudited opinion is a common service offered by many accounting firms and Certified Public Accountants who contract with companies to perform audits. Often, an organization will choose to engage the same firm for both formal audits and unaudited opinions. This can be a wise approach, as the accountant who has audited the company in the past will be in a better position to render an informed unaudited opinion.
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