An auditor may be asked to review the annual accounts of your company. This review engagement is an intermediate form between ‘audit’ and ‘compilation’. It can be request for a variety of reasons. Various professional groups such as logistical services and health care, require a review as a result of exceeding specific size criteria regarding total assets, turnover or number of employees. Insurance companies may request collateral in the form of annual accounts. An assessment of the annual accounts can also be provided for organisations that are not required to have a ‘proper’ audit carried out for, but for whom assurance about accountability is desired.

There is a major difference between an audit and a review assessment. A review assessment does establish the existence of an internal control system, but it’s only minimally tested during the engagement. During an audit, the internal control system is fully tested.

During a review engagement, the auditor usually needs to perform less work than in an audit engagement. The price for a review engagement is usually lower and results in an audit engagement. However, the provided assurance is also lower, which is reflected in the wording of the statement. The review report states that the work of the auditor has not revealed anything that could lead to the conclusion that the statement is not in accordance with the applicable principles.

There are also a number of sectors in which a review statement is prescribed. Like The SGR (Stichting Garantiefonds Reisgelden) in the travel sector, The KNB (Royal Dutch Notarial Association) in the case of notaries’ offices and The WTZI (Wet Toezicht Zorginstellingen), once certain conditions have been met. We are familiar with all these sectors and can therefore perform this assessment for you.

For organisations that will eventually need a statutory audit, it is a good idea to issue an assessment assignment in preparation. In this assignment, the internal control system is tested and you are advised on how to optimise it.

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