What wording is required at the bottom of financial statement pages? Is there a difference in the references in audited statements and those in compilations or reviews? What wording should be placed at the bottom of supplementary pages? Below I’ll answer these questions.
Audited Financial Statements and Supplementary Information
First, let’s look at financial statement references in audit reports.
While generally accepted accounting principles do not require financial page references to the notes, it is a common practice to do so. Here are examples:
- See notes to the financial statements.
- The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.
- See accompanying notes.
Accountants can also–though not required–reference specific disclosures on a financial statement page. For example, See Note 6 (next to the Inventory line on a balance sheet). It is my preference to use general references such as See accompanying notes.
Audit standards do not require financial statement page references to the audit opinion.
Supplementary pages attached to audited financial statements should not include a reference to the notes or the opinion.
Preparation, Compilation, and Review Engagements
Now, let’s discuss references in preparation, compilation, and review engagements.
Compilation and Review Engagements
SSARS 21 does not require a reference (on financial statement pages) to the compilation or review report; however, it is permissible to do so. What do I do? I do not refer to the accountant’s report. I just put See accompanying notes at the bottom of each financial statement page.
You are not required to include a reference to the accountant’s report on the supplementary information pages. SSARS 21 does suggest that such references be included in case the financial statements or supplementary information are separated from the compilation or review report. Examples include:
- See Accountant’s Compilation Report.
- See Independent Accountant’s Review Report.
What do I do? I include a reference to the accountant’s report on each supplementary page.
Preparation of Financial Statement Engagements
SSARS 21 provides an option (to compilations) called the preparation of financial statements (AR-C 70), a nonattest service. AR-C 70 requires that the accountant either state on each page that “no assurance is provided” or provide a disclaimer which precedes the financial statements. AR-C 70 does not require that the financial statement pages refer to the disclaimer (if provided), but it is permissible to do so. Such a reference can read See Accountant’s Disclaimer.
If your AR-C 70 work product has supplementary information, consider including this same reference (See Accountant’s Disclaimer) on the supplementary pages.