The Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services (SSARS) provide guidance in performing preparation of financial statements, compilation, and review engagements. SSARS engagements tend to take much less time than audits and can be provided at a lesser cost. These services are not, however, as rigorous as an audit. The SSARS are issued by the AICPA.
CPAs can provide any of the following services as provided for in the SSARS:
AR-C 70 provides guidance for preparation of financial statement engagements. This standard allows CPAs to issue financial statements without a compilation report. A disclaimer (no assurance is provided) is required. Disclosures to the financial statements are not required. The CPA need not be independent.
AR-C 80 provides guidance for compilation engagements. The CPA usually assists with the preparation of financial statements and then reads them to see if they appear appropriate. Disclosures to the financial statements are not required. A compilation report is required. The CPA need not be independent.
AR-C 90 provides guidance for review engagements. The CPA usually assists with the preparation of financial statements and then makes inquiries and creates analytics. These procedures provide the basis for a limited assurance report. A review report is required. The financial statements are full-disclosure. The CPA must be independent.