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Audit and Assurance

Whether you are an entrepreneurial owner-managed business, a multi-national group, AIM or fully listed company, James Cowper have the expertise to deliver a first class audit.

A value added approach

Should you be required to have an audit by law, or choose to have one, James Cowper’s highly experienced team understand that the process must add value.

Whilst undertaking a robust and technically advanced audit, James Cowper will take the time to form a deep understanding of your business, looking way beyond the numbers to see what really makes the business tick.  We will use the audit process as a platform to provide real business advice, helping you to grow and develop your business.

Technical excellence, pragmatically applied

James Cowper’s specialist audit team have a depth and breadth of accounting,  audit and financial reporting experience unrivalled in other regional independent firms. The senior members of our audit team share a wealth of audit experience gained over many years with larger firms as well as many years at James Cowper. 

This unique mix of experience gives James Cowper’s audit team the ability to perform a robust, technically advanced audit, but to use that experience and expertise to apply our knowledge pragmatically.  Our short reporting lines and the deep technical knowledge of our service team means that we can and do reach conclusions quickly without the need for lengthy consultations with technical people outside of the service team.

We will combine great expertise, a pragmatic and commercial approach and a deep understanding of your business to provide a first class audit service which is tailored to your business and your needs.

Accountants’ compilation reports

This is the most basic report provided by accountants.  It gives no assurance over the underlying figures in the financial statements, but confirms that the accounts have been compiled by an external professional firm, thus giving comfort that the accounts are presented in accordance with relevant legislation. 

Limited assurance review

This report sits between a full audit and the compilation report described above.  The scope of a limited assurance review does not include verification procedures as in a full audit, but does include discussions with management about the accounting treatment of key items, detailed analytical review of results and balance sheet, and consideration of the appropriateness of the accounting policies and their application. 

The scope is insufficient to allow the reviewer to give an opinion on whether the accounts give a true and fair view.  Instead, the review report concludes upon whether, based on the review,  anything has come to the reviewer’s attention which suggests the accounts are not true and fair.  This is known as “negative assurance”.

More details on limited assurance reviews can be found on the ICAEW’s website, here.

Agreed upon procedures

The options described above, as well as full audit, all follow a prescribed set of rules, laid down by either the Financial Reporting Council or the ICAEW and result in a published report in a standard form.  Conversely, “agreed upon procedures” are an alternative where the LLP members (probably delegated to management) agree a specific set of procedures that they request the reviewing firm to perform.  This results in a private report to the members outlining the work done and the results.

Proposed fees for each option are set out on page 10.  In each case, our fees include the cost of preparing the financial statements, based upon management accounts or trial balances provided by you.