Auditors’ Role: Building Trust and Confidence in Information
Auditors build trust and confidence in information through the assurance services they provide.
Assurance may mean different things to different people. Many companies informally use the terms assurance, comfort, certification, verification, opinion, compliance, and even audit interchangeably—but they do not mean the same thing. Assurance by CPAs involves the testing of processes, systems, and data, as appropriate, and then assessing the findings in order to support an assurance opinion based on an examination (e.g., “In our opinion, A is presented in accordance with [or based on B, in all material respects.”) or an assurance conclusion based on a review (e.g., “We are not aware of any material modifications that should be made to A in order for it to be in accordance with [or based on] B.”).
In short, an audit report in this context is designed to enhance the reliability of that information for the intended users of that assurance report by providing an objective and impartial assessment of the assertions, data, and other disclosures by management.
Auditors also call on a range of deeply ingrained skills as they help build trust and confidence in information. These skills include:
- understanding the business, the industry, market forces, and why certain metrics are important financially;
- identifying and responding to risks; and
- performing a variety of techniques and procedures to obtain evidence, including incorporating the appropriate specialists.
Explore ways the auditing profession has steadily developed, systemized, and strengthened its trust and confidence-building role for over a century