Accountant's Opinion

An accountant's opinion is a written statement written by an independent accountant expressing an opinion regarding the quality of information included in financial statements and/or tax returns. Many parties that place reliance on an accountant's opinion, require the accountant to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

For an audit, an accountant's opinion may be unqualified, qualified, or adverse. If an accountant cannot complete an audit due to lack of financial records or insufficient cooperation from the owner or management, he or she will issue a written disclaimer of opinion. Most accountant's opinion consist of at least three parts:

  • An introduction outlining the responsibility of the owner or management, and the audit firm;
  • The identification of the financial statements reviewed and upon which the opinion is given; and
  • The opinion of the audit firm.

Unqualified Opinions

An unqualified opinion, also referred to as a clean opinion, is one determined by the auditor to be free of any material misstatements.

Qualified Opinion

A qualified opinion is issued if and when a company's financial statements have not been entirely presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). While the proper accounting standards have not been entirely followed, there are no misrepresentations, and the company has done nothing wrong. Usually, the auditor will state what the issues are so they can be remedied.

Adverse Opinion

An adverse opinion indicates that generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) have not been followed and the financial statements contain misrepresentations that are material. Reliance cannot be placed on adverse opinions.




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