Interactive Tools are intended to provide financial statement preparers and auditors with practical guidance related to unique issues. The tools are available exclusively online or on-demand. Some tools allow the user to download Microsoft Word documents for easy offline customization and are fully integrated with other online publications in the AICPA's Online Professional Library. Other tools include video content for more information about specific subjects or have interfaces to run reports or retain data.
Audit Risk Assessment Tool
The AICPA has developed this Audit Risk Assessment Tool to aid the more experienced auditor to think through risks of material misstatements for the purpose of identifying significant risks. Significant risks are those risks of material misstatement, whether by error or fraud, that require special audit consideration. In other words, this tool helps experienced auditors identify those high risk areas so that audit programs can be appropriately tailored. This new tool is designed to help auditors work smarter and get to the important decisions regarding significant risks by taking a top down approach. It can be used in lieu of cumbersome checklists that are commonly filled out by lower level staff and attempt to identify risks of material misstatements from the bottom up. This tool can be used in place of voluminous risk assessment checklists in many commonly used audit methodologies. This tool is recommended for use on lower complexity engagements that are generally smaller in size and have less complex auditing and accounting issues.
The tool, which is accessible online, includes access to the entire AICPA Audit Guide Assessing and Responding to Audit Risk in a Financial Statement Audit, and facilitates integration of AICPA guidance, through an Online Professional Library Subscription including the following:
Auditors continue to struggle with effective and efficient execution of the risk assessment standards. Common deficiencies as noted by peer reviewers include an over-reliance on checklists and inadequate documentation of audit risk assessment, including linkage of audit procedures to the risks they are designed to address. This tool is intended to work with any audit methodology and may be used for any audit; however, efficiency gains using this tool will probably be most notable with smaller audit clients. The utilization of this tool as a supplement to a firm’s existing planning module is designed to improve efficiencies and thus may reduce write-offs in this period of killer fee competition.
The AICPA's Financial Reporting Center also offers more information on risk assessment, including a short introductory video to the Audit Risk Assessment Tool.
The Auditor's Report: Comprehensive Guidance and Examples
The AICPA’s new online tool The Auditor’s Report: Comprehensive Guidance and Examples provides guidance on developing the auditor’s reports in accordance with applicable AICPA professional standards. Offered in a convenient and efficient online format, subscribers to this online tool can download the sample auditor’s reports for easy mark up and customization. With the added automation, practitioners will save time and minimize the risk of omitting a crucial part of the report.
The AICPA anticipates making updates to this practice tool to incorporate future changes in AICPA Professional Standards and best practice recommendations, as necessary.
Supplemented with examples, this auditor’s report tool helps your firm be as efficient and effective as possible in clearly documenting the results of the audit. With the more explicit requirements applicable to the auditor’s report established by the new clarified auditing standards, this tool is an essential resource for auditors making the transition to the new auditing standards. Illustrative examples are provided throughout so auditors can easily apply the requirements for audits. To provide you with the most useful and comprehensive look at the auditor’s report, The Auditor’s Report: Comprehensive Guidance and Examples provides clear, expert guidance that clearly differentiates required content and format of the auditor’s report from optional content used to further communicate with the user of the financial statements. Following the narrative guidance, there are exhibits with sample auditor’s reports illustrating the practical application of the guidance contained herein.
U.S. GAAP Financial Statements—Best Practices in Presentation and Disclosure
U.S. GAAP Financial Statements—Best Practices in Presentation and Disclosure (formerly, eXacct: Financial Reporting Tools & Techniques) is a powerful Web based tool that gives you the most relevant and useful presentation and disclosure examples. Drawing from a carefully selected pool of 500 U.S. companies in more than 100 industries—including the newly added airline, banking, credit, and insurance industries—this online resource offers a multitude of high quality disclosure examples directly from such organizations as Google, Ford, Target, and The Goldman Sachs Group.
You will have full online access to the annual reports and XBRL filings of the 500 survey companies, ready to be browsed, searched, sorted, and downloaded. You can even filter content by industry, giving you crucial insight into presentation and disclosure methods across a wide variety of industries. With comprehensive coverage of virtually every required disclosure, U.S. GAAP Financial Statements—Best Practices in Presentation and Disclosure gives you a straightforward picture of U.S. GAAP compliance. You’ll find illustrations of the most important, immediate, and challenging disclosures, including derivatives and hedging, consolidations, and fair value measurement, as well as recently effective disclosure requirements in the areas of multiemployer plans, intangibles—goodwill, business combinations, and revenue recognition.
In addition to AICPA’s unrivaled presentation and disclosure examples, this interactive tool also provides clear, direct guidance to help you understand and comply with all significant reporting requirements; statistical tables that show you current reporting trends at a glance; and detailed indexes to provide you with exactly what you need in as little time as possible. Users can search key terms and research information by company or by industry, while keeping multiple documents open at once for ease of comparison.
Other features to help in your research include the “My Notes” tool, and the ability to save searches. In addition to offering online access to the annual reports, U.S. GAAP Financial Statements—Best Practices in Presentation and Disclosure provides all the annual XBRL rendered and source documents filed with the SEC by our select 500 companies (when applicable). Users can search these documents for specific attributes and disclosures, providing full tag information and highlighting company extension elements with the click of a button.
The Engagement Letter: Best Practices and Examples
The Engagement Letter: Best Practices and Examples provides guidance on developing engagement letters in accordance with applicable AICPA professional standards. Offered in a convenient and efficient online format, subscribers to this tool can download the sample engagement letters for easy mark up and customization. With the added automation, practitioners will save hours of planning time and minimize the risk of overreliance on the prior year’s engagement letter.
The AICPA anticipates making updates to this practice tool to incorporate future changes in AICPA Professional Standards and best practice recommendations, as necessary. Illustrative engagement letters for service organization engagements are now available.
Supplemented with best practice recommendations, this engagement letter tool helps your firm be as efficient and effective as possible in clearly documenting the terms of the engagement. With the more explicit requirements applicable to engagement letters established by the new clarified auditing standards, this tool is an essential resource for auditors making the transition to the new auditing standards. Illustrative examples are provided throughout so practitioners can easily apply the requirements and recommendations for auditing, compilation, review, and certain attestation engagements.
To provide you with the most useful and comprehensive look at effective engagement letter techniques and methods, The Engagement Letter: Best Practices and Examples provides clear, expert guidance within each chapter that clearly differentiates required content of engagement letters from optional content used to further enhance the effectiveness of the engagement letter in documenting the understanding with the client. Following the narrative guidance, there are exhibits with sample engagement letters illustrating the practical application of the guidance contained herein.