[This new standard will be effective for audits of fiscal years ending on or after December 15, 2017. See PCAOB Release No. 2017-001. The current standard can be found here.]

AS 3105: Departures from Unqualified Opinions and Other Reporting Circumstances

Introduction

.01     The auditor's report contains either an expression of opinion on the financial statements, taken as a whole,1 or an assertion that an opinion cannot be expressed. This standard discusses the circumstances that may require the auditor to depart from the auditor's unqualified report2 and provides reporting guidance in the following circumstances:

  • Qualified opinion. A qualified opinion states that, except for the effects of the matter(s) to which the qualification relates, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position, results of operations, and cash flows of the entity in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles. See paragraphs .02–.39.
  • Adverse opinion. An adverse opinion states that the financial statements do not present fairly the financial position, results of operations, or cash flows of the entity in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles. See paragraphs .40–.43.
  • Disclaimer of opinion. A disclaimer of opinion states that the auditor does not express an opinion on the financial statements. See paragraphs .44–.47.

This standard also discusses other reporting circumstances, such as reports on comparative financial statements.

1     "Taken as a whole" applies equally to a complete set of financial statements and to an individual financial statement with appropriate disclosures.

2     AS 3101, The Auditor's Report on an Audit of Financial Statements When the Auditor Expresses an Unqualified Opinion, establishes requirements for the auditor regarding the content of the auditor's written report when the auditor expresses an unqualified opinion on the financial statements (the "auditor's unqualified report"), including when explanatory language is added. Paragraphs .85–.98 of AS 2201, An Audit of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting That Is Integrated with An Audit of Financial Statements, and Appendix C, Special Reporting Situations, of AS 2201 address the form and content of the auditor's report when the auditor performs an audit of internal control over financial reporting. See also AS 2201.87, which includes an illustrative combined audit report.

Departures From Unqualified Opinions

Qualified Opinions

.02     Certain circumstances may require a qualified opinion. A qualified opinion states that, except for the effects of the matter to which the qualification relates, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, financial position, results of operations, and cash flows in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles. Such an opinion is expressed when—

  1. There is a lack of sufficient appropriate evidential matter or there are restrictions on the scope of the audit that have led the auditor to conclude that he or she cannot express an unqualified opinion and he or she has concluded not to disclaim an opinion (paragraphs .05–.17).
  2. The auditor believes, on the basis of his or her audit, that the financial statements contain a departure from generally accepted accounting principles, the effect of which is material, and he or she has concluded not to express an adverse opinion (paragraphs .18–.39).

.03     When the auditor expresses a qualified opinion, the auditor's report must include the same basic elements and communication of critical audit matters, if requirements of critical audit matters apply, as would be required in an unqualified auditor's report under AS 3101.

.04     When the auditor expresses a qualified opinion, he or she should disclose all of the substantive reasons for the qualified opinion in one or more separate paragraph(s) immediately following the opinion paragraph of the auditor's report. The auditor should also include, in the opinion paragraph, the appropriate qualifying language and a reference to the paragraph that discloses all of the substantive reasons for the qualified opinion. A qualified opinion should include the word except or exception in a phrase such as except for or with the exception of. Phrases such as subject to and with the foregoing explanation are not clear or forceful enough and should not be used. Since accompanying notes are part of the financial statements, wording such as fairly presented, in all material respects, when read in conjunction with Note 1 is likely to be misunderstood and should not be used.

Note: The auditor should refer to AS 3101 to determine if the matter for which the auditor qualified the opinion is also a critical audit matter.

Scope Limitations

.05     The auditor can determine that he or she is able to express an unqualified opinion only if the audit has been conducted in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB and if he or she has therefore been able to apply all the procedures he considers necessary in the circumstances. Restrictions on the scope of the audit, whether imposed by the client or by circumstances, such as the timing of his or her work, the inability to obtain sufficient appropriate evidential matter, or an inadequacy in the accounting records, may require the auditor to qualify his or her opinion or to disclaim an opinion. In such instances, the reasons for the auditor's qualification of opinion or disclaimer of opinion should be described in the report.

.06     The auditor's decision to qualify his or her opinion or disclaim an opinion because of a scope limitation depends on his or her assessment of the importance of the omitted procedure(s) to his or her ability to form an opinion on the financial statements being audited. This assessment will be affected by the nature and magnitude of the potential effects of the matters in question and by their significance to the financial statements. If the potential effects relate to many financial statement items, this significance is likely to be greater than if only a limited number of items is involved.

.07     Common restrictions on the scope of the audit include those applying to the observation of physical inventories and the confirmation of accounts receivable by direct communication with debtors.3 Another common scope restriction involves accounting for long-term investments when the auditor has not been able to obtain audited financial statements of an investee. Restrictions on the application of these or other audit procedures to important elements of the financial statements require the auditor to decide whether he or she has examined sufficient appropriate evidential matter to permit him or her to express an unqualified or qualified opinion, or whether he or she should disclaim an opinion. When restrictions that significantly limit the scope of the audit are imposed by the client, ordinarily the auditor should disclaim an opinion on the financial statements.

3     Circumstances such as the timing of the work may make it impossible for the auditor to accomplish these procedures. In this case, if the auditor is able to satisfy himself or herself as to inventories or accounts receivable by applying alternative procedures, there is no significant limitation on the scope of the work, and the report need not include a reference to the omission of the procedures or the use of alternative procedures. It is important to understand, however, that AS 2510, Auditing Inventories, states that "it will always be necessary for the auditor to make, or observe, some physical counts of the inventory and apply appropriate tests of intervening transactions."

.08     When a qualified opinion results from a limitation on the scope of the audit or an insufficiency of evidential matter, the auditor's report should describe the basis for departure from an unqualified opinion in a separate paragraph immediately following the opinion paragraph and refer to that description in both the Basis for Opinion section and opinion paragraph of the auditor's report. It is not appropriate for the scope of the audit to be explained in a note to the financial statements, since the description of the audit scope is the responsibility of the auditor and not that of the client.

.09     When an auditor qualifies his or her opinion because of a scope limitation, the wording in the opinion paragraph should indicate that the qualification pertains to the possible effects on the financial statements and not to the scope limitation itself. Wording such as "In our opinion, except for the above-mentioned limitation on the scope of our audit . . ." bases the exception on the restriction itself, rather than on the possible effects on the financial statements and, therefore, is unacceptable. An example of a qualified opinion related to a scope limitation concerning an investment in a foreign affiliate (assuming the effects of the limitation are such that the auditor has concluded that a disclaimer of opinion is not appropriate) follows:

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To the shareholders and the board of directors of X Company

Opinion on the Financial Statements

We have audited the accompanying balance sheets of X Company (the "Company") as of December 31, 20X2 and 20X1, the related statements of [titles of the financial statements, e.g., income, comprehensive income, stockholders' equity, and cash flows] for each of the years then ended, and the related notes [and schedules] (collectively referred to as the "financial statements"). In our opinion, except for the effects of the adjustments, if any, as might have been determined to be necessary had we been able to examine evidence regarding the foreign affiliate investment and earnings, as described below, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 20X2 and 20X1, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the years then ended in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

We were unable to obtain audited financial statements supporting the Company's investment in a foreign affiliate stated at $_______ and $_______ at December 31, 20X2 and 20X1, respectively, or its equity in earnings of that affiliate of $_______ and $_______, which is included in net income for the years then ended as described in Note X to the financial statements; nor were we able to satisfy ourselves as to the carrying value of the investment in the foreign affiliate or the equity in its earnings by other auditing procedures.

Basis for Opinion

These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company's management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company's financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) ("PCAOB") and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

Except as discussed above, we conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

Critical Audit Matters [if applicable]

[Include critical audit matters]

[Signature]

We have served as the Company's auditor since [year].

[City and State or Country]

[Date]

.10     Other scope limitations. Sometimes, notes to financial statements may contain unaudited information, such as pro forma calculations or other similar disclosures. If the unaudited information (for example, an investor's share, material in amount, of an investee's earnings recognized on the equity method) is such that it should be subjected to auditing procedures in order for the auditor to form an opinion with respect to the financial statements taken as a whole, the auditor should apply the procedures he or she deems necessary to the unaudited information. If the auditor has not been able to apply the procedures he or she considers necessary, the auditor should qualify his or her opinion or disclaim an opinion because of a limitation on the scope of the audit.

.11     If, however, these disclosures are not necessary to fairly present the financial position, operating results, or cash flows on which the auditor is reporting, such disclosures may be identified as unaudited or as not covered by the auditor's report. For example, the pro forma effects of a business combination or of a subsequent event may be labelled unaudited. Therefore, while the event or transaction giving rise to the disclosures in these circumstances should be audited, the pro forma disclosures of that event or transaction would not be. The auditor should be aware, however, that AS 3110, Dating of the Independent Auditor's Report, states that, if the auditor is aware of a material subsequent event that has occurred after the completion of fieldwork but before issuance of the report that should be disclosed, the auditor's only options are to dual date the report or date the report as of the date of the subsequent event and extend the procedures for review of subsequent events to that date. Labelling the note unaudited is not an acceptable alternative in these circumstances.

.12     Uncertainties and scope limitations. A matter involving an uncertainty is one that is expected to be resolved at a future date, at which time conclusive evidential matter concerning its outcome would be expected to become available. Uncertainties include, but are not limited to, contingencies covered by Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 5, Accounting for Contingencies, and matters related to estimates covered by Statement of Position 94-6, Disclosure of Certain Significant Risks and Uncertainties.

.13     Conclusive evidential matter concerning the ultimate outcome of uncertainties cannot be expected to exist at the time of the audit because the outcome and related evidential matter are prospective. In these circumstances, management is responsible for estimating the effect of future events on the financial statements, or determining that a reasonable estimate cannot be made and making the required disclosures, all in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, based on management's analysis of existing conditions. An audit includes an assessment of whether the evidential matter is sufficient to support management's analysis. Absence of the existence of information related to the outcome of an uncertainty does not necessarily lead to a conclusion that the evidential matter supporting management's assertion is not sufficient. Rather, the auditor's judgment regarding the sufficiency of the evidential matter is based on the evidential matter that is, or should be, available. If, after considering the existing conditions and available evidence, the auditor concludes that sufficient evidential matter supports management's assertions about the nature of a matter involving an uncertainty and its presentation or disclosure in the financial statements, an unqualified opinion ordinarily is appropriate.

.14     If the auditor is unable to obtain sufficient evidential matter to support management's assertions about the nature of a matter involving an uncertainty and its presentation or disclosure in the financial statements, the auditor should consider the need to express a qualified opinion or to disclaim an opinion because of a scope limitation. A qualification or disclaimer of opinion because of a scope limitation is appropriate if sufficient evidential matter related to an uncertainty does or did exist but was not available to the auditor for reasons such as management's record retention policies or a restriction imposed by management.

.15     Scope limitations related to uncertainties should be differentiated from situations in which the auditor concludes that the financial statements are materially misstated due to departures from generally accepted accounting principles related to uncertainties. Such departures may be caused by inadequate disclosure concerning the uncertainty, the use of inappropriate accounting principles, or the use of unreasonable accounting estimates. Paragraphs .28 to .32 provide guidance to the auditor when financial statements contain departures from generally accepted accounting principles related to uncertainties.

.16     Limited reporting engagements. The auditor may be asked to report on one basic financial statement and not on the others. For example, he or she may be asked to report on the balance sheet and not on the statements of income, retained earnings or cash flows. These engagements do not involve scope limitations if the auditor's access to information underlying the basic financial statements is not limited and if the auditor applies all the procedures he considers necessary in the circumstances; rather, such engagements involve limited reporting objectives.

.17     An auditor may be asked to report on the balance sheet only. In this case, the auditor may express an opinion on the balance sheet only. An example of an unqualified opinion on a balance-sheet-only audit follows (the report assumes that the auditor has been able to satisfy himself or herself regarding the consistency of application of accounting principles):

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To the shareholders and the board of directors of X Company

Opinion on the Financial Statement

We have audited the accompanying balance sheet of X Company (the "Company") as of December 31, 20XX, and the related notes [and schedules] (collectively referred to as the "financial statement"). In our opinion, the financial statement presents fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 20XX, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

Basis for Opinion

This financial statement is the responsibility of the Company's management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on this financial statement based on our audit. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) ("PCAOB") and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statement is free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. Our audit included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statement, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statement. Our audit also included assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statement. We believe that our audit of the financial statement provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.

Critical Audit Matters [if applicable]

[Include critical audit matters]

[Signature]

We have served as the Company's auditor since [year].

[City and State or Country]

[Date]

Departure From a Generally Accepted Accounting Principle

.18     When financial statements are materially affected by a departure from generally accepted accounting principles and the auditor has audited the statements in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB, he or she should express a qualified (paragraphs .19 through .39) or an adverse (paragraphs .40 through .43) opinion. The basis for such opinion should be stated in the report.

.19     In deciding whether the effects of a departure from generally accepted accounting principles are sufficiently material to require either a qualified or adverse opinion, one factor to be considered is the dollar magnitude of such effects. However, the concept of materiality does not depend entirely on relative size; it involves qualitative as well as quantitative judgments. The significance of an item to a particular entity (for example, inventories to a manufacturing company), the pervasiveness of the misstatement (such as whether it affects the amounts and presentation of numerous financial statement items), and the effect of the misstatement on the financial statements taken as a whole are all factors to be considered in making a judgment regarding materiality.

.20     When the auditor expresses a qualified opinion, he or she should disclose, in a separate paragraph(s) immediately following the opinion paragraph, all of the substantive reasons that have led him or her to conclude that there has been a departure from generally accepted accounting principles. Furthermore, the opinion paragraph should include the appropriate qualifying language and a reference to the paragraph(s) that describe the substantive reasons for the qualified opinion.

.21     The paragraph(s) immediately following the opinion paragraph that describe the substantive reasons that led the auditor to conclude that there has been a departure from generally accepted accounting principles should also disclose the principal effects of the subject matter of the qualification on financial position, results of operations, and cash flows, if practicable.4 If the effects are not reasonably determinable, the report should so state. If such disclosures are made in a note to the financial statements, the paragraph(s) that describe the substantive reasons for the qualified opinion may be shortened by referring to it.

4     In this context, practicable means that the information is reasonably obtainable from management's accounts and records and that providing the information in the report does not require the auditor to assume the position of a preparer of financial information. For example, if the information can be obtained from the accounts and records without the auditor substantially increasing the effort that would normally be required to complete the audit, the information should be presented in the report.

.22     An example of a report in which the opinion is qualified because of the use of an accounting principle at variance with generally accepted accounting principles follows (assuming the effects are such that the auditor has concluded that an adverse opinion is not appropriate):

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To the shareholders and the board of directors of X Company

Opinion on the Financial Statements

We have audited the accompanying balance sheets of X Company (the "Company") as of December 31, 20X2 and 20X1, the related statements of [titles of the financial statements, e.g., income, comprehensive income, stockholders' equity, and cash flows] for each of the years then ended, and the related notes [and schedules] (collectively referred to as the "financial statements"). In our opinion, except for the effects of not capitalizing certain lease obligations as discussed in the following paragraph, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 20X2 and 20X1, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the years then ended in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

The Company has excluded, from property and debt in the accompanying balance sheets, certain lease obligations that, in our opinion, should be capitalized in order to conform with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. If these lease obligations were capitalized, property would be increased by $_______ and $_______, long-term debt by $_______ and $_______, and retained earnings by $_______ and $_______ as of December 31, 20X2 and 20X1, respectively. Additionally, net income would be increased (decreased) by $_______ and $_______ and earnings per share would be increased (decreased) by $_______ and $_______, respectively, for the years then ended.

Basis for Opinion

[Same basic elements as the Basis for Opinion section of the auditor's unqualified report in AS 3101]

Critical Audit Matters [if applicable]

[Include critical audit matters]

[Signature]

We have served as the Company's auditor since [year].

[City and State or Country]

[Date]

.23     If the pertinent facts are disclosed in a note to the financial statements, a separate paragraph (immediately following the opinion paragraph) of the auditor's report in the circumstances illustrated in paragraph .22 might read as follows:

As more fully described in Note X to the financial statements, the Company has excluded certain lease obligations from property and debt in the accompanying balance sheets. In our opinion, accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America require that such obligations be included in the balance sheets.

.24     Inadequate disclosure. Information essential for a fair presentation in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles should be set forth in the financial statements (which include the related notes). When such information is set forth elsewhere in a report to shareholders, or in a prospectus, proxy statement, or other similar report, it should be referred to in the financial statements. If the financial statements, including accompanying notes, fail to disclose information that is required by generally accepted accounting principles, the auditor should express a qualified or adverse opinion because of the departure from those principles and should provide the information in the report, if practicable,5 unless its omission from the auditor's report is recognized as appropriate by a specific PCAOB standard.

5     See footnote 4.

.25     Following is an example of a report qualified for inadequate disclosure (assuming the effects are such that the auditor has concluded an adverse opinion is not appropriate):

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To the shareholders and the board of directors of X Company

Opinion on the Financial Statements

We have audited the accompanying balance sheets of X Company (the "Company") as of December 31, 20X2 and 20X1, the related statements of [titles of the financial statements, e.g., income, comprehensive income, stockholders' equity, and cash flows] for each of the years then ended, and the related notes [and schedules] (collectively referred to as the "financial statements"). In our opinion, except for the omission of the information discussed in the following paragraph, . . .

The Company's financial statements do not disclose [describe the nature of the omitted disclosures]. In our opinion, disclosure of this information is required by accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

Basis for Opinion

[Same basic elements as the Basis for Opinion section of the auditor's unqualified report in AS 3101]

Critical Audit Matters [if applicable]

[Include critical audit matters]

[Signature]

We have served as the Company's auditor since [year].

[City and State or Country]

[Date]

.26     If a company issues financial statements that purport to present financial position and results of operations but omits the related statement of cash flows, the auditor will normally conclude that the omission requires qualification of his opinion.

.27     If the company's management declines to present a basic financial statement (for example, a statement of cash flows for one or more periods), the auditor should ordinarily qualify the report in the following manner:

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To the shareholders and the board of directors of X Company

Opinion on the Financial Statements

We have audited the accompanying balance sheets of X Company (the "Company") as of December 31, 20X2 and 20X1, and the related statements of operations and stockholders' equity for each of the years then ended, and the related notes [and schedules] (collectively referred to as the "financial statements"). In our opinion, except that the omission of a statement of cash flows results in an incomplete presentation as explained in the following paragraph, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 20X2 and 20X1, and the results of its operations for the years then ended in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

The Company declined to present a statement of cash flows for the years ended December 31, 20X2 and 20X1. Presentation of such statement summarizing the Company's operating, investing, and financing activities is required by accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

Basis for Opinion

[Same basic elements as the Basis for Opinion section of the auditor's unqualified report in AS 3101]

Critical Audit Matters [if applicable]

[Include critical audit matters]

[Signature]

We have served as the Company's auditor since [year].

[City and State or Country]

[Date]

.28     Departures from generally accepted accounting principles involving risks or uncertainties, and materiality considerations. Departures from generally accepted accounting principles involving risks or uncertainties generally fall into one of the following categories:

  • Inadequate disclosure (paragraphs .29 and .30)
  • Inappropriate accounting principles (paragraph .31)
  • Unreasonable accounting estimates (paragraph .32)

.29     If the auditor concludes that a matter involving a risk or an uncertainty is not adequately disclosed in the financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles, the auditor should express a qualified or an adverse opinion.

.30     The auditor should consider materiality in evaluating the adequacy of disclosure of matters involving risks or uncertainties in the financial statements in the context of the financial statements taken as a whole. The auditor's consideration of materiality is a matter of professional judgment and is influenced by his or her perception of the needs of a reasonable person who will rely on the financial statements. Materiality judgments involving risks or uncertainties are made in light of the surrounding circumstances. The auditor evaluates the materiality of reasonably possible losses that may be incurred upon the resolution of uncertainties both individually and in the aggregate. The auditor performs the evaluation of reasonably possible losses without regard to his or her evaluation of the materiality of known and likely misstatements in the financial statements.

.31     In preparing financial statements, management estimates the outcome of certain types of future events. For example, estimates ordinarily are made about the useful lives of depreciable assets, the collectibility of accounts receivable, the realizable value of inventory items, and the provision for product warranties. FASB Statement No. 5, Accounting for Contingencies, paragraphs 23 and 25, describes situations in which the inability to make a reasonable estimate may raise questions about the appropriateness of the accounting principles used. If, in those or other situations, the auditor concludes that the accounting principles used cause the financial statements to be materially misstated, he or she should express a qualified or an adverse opinion.

.32     Usually, the auditor is able to satisfy himself or herself regarding the reasonableness of management's estimate of the effects of future events by considering various types of evidential matter, including the historical experience of the entity. If the auditor concludes that management's estimate is unreasonable (see paragraph .13 of AS 2810, Evaluating Audit Results) and that its effect is to cause the financial statements to be materially misstated, he or she should express a qualified or an adverse opinion.

.33     Departures from generally accepted accounting principles related to changes in accounting principle. Paragraph .07 of AS 2820, Evaluating Consistency of Financial Statements, includes the criteria for evaluating a change in accounting principle. If the auditor concludes that the criteria have not been met, he or she should consider that circumstance to be a departure from generally accepted accounting principles and, if the effect of the accounting change is material, should issue a qualified or adverse opinion.

.34     The accounting standards indicate that a company may make a change in accounting principle only if it justifies that the allowable alternative accounting principle is preferable. If the company does not provide reasonable justification that the alternative accounting principle is preferable, the auditor should consider the accounting change to be a departure from generally accepted accounting principles and, if the effect of the change in accounting principle is material, should issue a qualified or adverse opinion. The following is an example of a report qualified because a company did not provide reasonable justification that an alternative accounting principle is preferable:

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To the shareholders and the board of directors of X Company

Opinion on the Financial Statements

We have audited the accompanying balance sheets of X Company (the "Company") as of December 31, 20X2 and 20X1, the related statements of [titles of the financial statements, e.g., income, comprehensive income, stockholders' equity, and cash flows] for each of the years then ended, and the related notes [and schedules] (collectively referred to as the "financial statements"). In our opinion, except for the change in accounting principle discussed in the following paragraph, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 20X2 and 20X1, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the years then ended in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

As disclosed in Note X to the financial statements, the Company adopted, in 20X2, the first-in, first-out method of accounting for its inventories, whereas it previously used the last-in, first-out method. Although use of the first-in, first-out method is in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America, in our opinion the Company has not provided reasonable justification that this accounting principle is preferable as required by those principles.6

Basis for Opinion

[Same basic elements as the Basis for Opinion section of the auditor's unqualified report in AS 3101]

Critical Audit Matters [if applicable]

[Include critical audit matters]

[Signature]

We have served as the Company's auditor since [year].

[City and State or Country]

[Date]

6     Because this paragraph included in the example presented contains all of the information required in a separate paragraph on consistency, an explanatory paragraph (immediately following the opinion paragraph) as required by AS 2820.08 and .12–.15 is not necessary in this instance. A separate paragraph that identifies the change in accounting principle would be required if the substance of the disclosure did not fulfill the requirements outlined in these paragraphs.

.35     Whenever an accounting change results in an auditor expressing a qualified or adverse opinion on the conformity of financial statements with generally accepted accounting principles for the year of change, the auditor should consider the possible effects of that change when reporting on the entity's financial statements for subsequent years, as discussed in paragraphs .36 through .39.

.36     If the financial statements for the year of such change are presented and reported on with a subsequent year's financial statements, the auditor's report should disclose his or her reservations with respect to the statements for the year of change.

.37     If an entity has adopted an accounting principle that is not a generally accepted accounting principle, its continued use might have a material effect on the statements of a subsequent year on which the auditor is reporting. In this situation, the independent auditor should express either a qualified opinion or an adverse opinion, depending on the materiality of the departure in relation to the statements of the subsequent year.

.38     If an entity accounts for the effect of a change prospectively when generally accepted accounting principles require restatement or the inclusion of the cumulative effect of the change in the year of change, a subsequent year's financial statements could improperly include a charge or credit that is material to those statements. This situation also requires that the auditor express a qualified or an adverse opinion.

.39     If the auditor issues a qualified or adverse opinion because the company has not justified that an allowable accounting principle adopted in an accounting change is preferable, as described in paragraph .34, the auditor should continue to express that opinion on the financial statements for the year of change as long as those financial statements are presented and reported on. However, the auditor's qualified or adverse opinion relates only to the accounting change and does not affect the status of a newly adopted principle as a generally accepted accounting principle. Accordingly, while expressing a qualified or adverse opinion for the year of change, the independent auditor's opinion regarding the subsequent years' statements need not express a qualified or adverse opinion on the use of the newly adopted principle in subsequent periods.

Adverse Opinions

.40     When the auditor expresses an adverse opinion, the auditor's report must include the opinion as described in paragraph .41 and the same other basic elements as would be required in an unqualified auditor's report under AS 3101, modified appropriately.

Note: The requirements as to critical audit matters described in AS 3101 do not apply when the auditor expresses an adverse opinion.

.41     An adverse opinion states that the financial statements do not present fairly the financial position or the results of operations or cash flows in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles. Such an opinion is expressed when, in the auditor's judgment, the financial statements taken as a whole are not presented fairly in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles.

.42     When the auditor expresses an adverse opinion, he or she should disclose in a separate paragraph(s) immediately following the opinion paragraph of the report (a) all the substantive reasons for his or her adverse opinion, and (b) the principal effects of the subject matter of the adverse opinion on financial position, results of operations, and cash flows, if practicable.7 If the effects are not reasonably determinable, the report should so state.8

7     See footnote 4.

8     When the auditor expresses an adverse opinion, he or she should also consider the need for an explanatory paragraph under the circumstances identified in AS 3101.18.

.43     When an adverse opinion is expressed, the opinion paragraph should include a direct reference to a separate paragraph that discloses the basis for the adverse opinion. An example of this is shown below:

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To the shareholders and the board of directors of X Company

Opinion on the Financial Statements

We have audited the accompanying balance sheets of X Company (the "Company") as of December 31, 20X2 and 20X1, the related statements of [titles of the financial statements, e.g., income, comprehensive income, stockholders' equity, and cash flows] for each of the years then ended, and the related notes [and schedules] (collectively referred to as the "financial statements"). In our opinion, because of the effects of the matters discussed in the following paragraphs, the financial statements do not present fairly, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 20X2 and 20X1, or the results of its operations or its cash flows for the years then ended.

As discussed in Note X to the financial statements, the Company carries its property, plant and equipment accounts at appraisal values, and provides depreciation on the basis of such values. Further, the Company does not provide for income taxes with respect to differences between financial income and taxable income arising because of the use, for income tax purposes, of the installment method of reporting gross profit from certain types of sales. Accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America require that property, plant and equipment be stated at an amount not in excess of cost, reduced by depreciation based on such amount, and that deferred income taxes be provided.

Because of the departures from accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America identified above, as of December 31, 20X2 and 20X1, inventories have been increased $_______ and $_______ by inclusion in manufacturing overhead of depreciation in excess of that based on cost; property, plant and equipment, less accumulated depreciation, is carried at $_______ and $_______ in excess of an amount based on the cost to the Company; and deferred income taxes of $_______ and $_______ have not been recorded; resulting in an increase of $_______ and $_______ in retained earnings and in appraisal surplus of $_______ and $_______, respectively. For the years ended December 31, 20X2 and 20X1, cost of goods sold has been increased $_______ and $_______, respectively, because of the effects of the depreciation accounting referred to above and deferred income taxes of $_______ and $_______ have not been provided, resulting in an increase in net income of $_______ and $_______, respectively.

Basis for Opinion

[Same basic elements as the Basis for Opinion section of the auditor's unqualified report in AS 3101]

[Signature]

We have served as the Company's auditor since [year].

[City and State or Country]

[Date]

Disclaimer of Opinion

.44     A disclaimer of opinion states that the auditor does not express an opinion on the financial statements. An auditor may decline to express an opinion whenever he or she is unable to form or has not formed an opinion as to the fairness of presentation of the financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles. If the auditor disclaims an opinion, the auditor's report should give all of the substantive reasons for the disclaimer.

.45     A disclaimer is appropriate when the auditor has not performed an audit sufficient in scope to enable him or her to form an opinion on the financial statements.9 A disclaimer of opinion should not be expressed because the auditor believes, on the basis of his or her audit, that there are material departures from generally accepted accounting principles (see paragraphs .18 through .39). When disclaiming an opinion because of a scope limitation, the auditor should state in a separate paragraph or paragraphs all of the substantive reasons for the disclaimer. He or she should state that the scope of the audit was not sufficient to warrant the expression of an opinion. The auditor should not identify the procedures that were performed nor include the paragraph describing the characteristics of an audit (that is, the scope paragraph of the auditor's standard report); to do so may tend to overshadow the disclaimer. In addition, the auditor should also disclose any other reservations he or she has regarding fair presentation in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles.

9     AS 3320.05 provides guidance to an accountant who is associated with the financial statements of a public entity, but has not audited such statements.

.46      When the auditor disclaims an opinion, the auditor's report must include the basic elements as would be required in an unqualified auditor's report under AS 3101, modified as follows:

  1. The first section of the auditor's report must include the section title "Disclaimer of Opinion on the Financial Statements" and the following elements:
    (1) The name of the company whose financial statements the auditor was engaged to audit;
    (2) A statement identifying each financial statement and any related schedule(s) that the auditor was engaged to audit;
  2. The second section of the auditor's report must include the title "Basis for Disclaimer of Opinion."
  3. Elements in paragraphs .09b–f of AS 3101 should be omitted.

Note: The requirements as to critical audit matters described in AS 3101 do not apply when the auditor disclaims an opinion.

.47     An example of a report disclaiming an opinion resulting from an inability to obtain sufficient appropriate evidential matter because of the scope limitation follows:

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To the shareholders and the board of directors of X Company

Disclaimer of Opinion on the Financial Statements

We were engaged to audit the accompanying balance sheets of X Company (the "Company") as of December 31, 20X2 and 20X1, and the related statements of [titles of the financial statements, e.g., income, comprehensive income, stockholders' equity, and cash flows], and the related notes [and schedules] (collectively referred to as the "financial statements").10 As described in the following paragraph, because the Company did not take physical inventories and we were not able to apply other auditing procedures to satisfy ourselves as to inventory quantities and the cost of property and equipment, we were not able to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to provide a basis for an audit opinion on the financial statements, and we do not express, an opinion on these financial statements.

The Company did not make a count of its physical inventory in 20X2 or 20X1, stated in the accompanying financial statements at $_______ as of December 31, 20X2, and at $________ as of December 31, 20X1. Further, evidence supporting the cost of property and equipment acquired prior to December 31, 20X1, is no longer available. The Company's records do not permit the application of other auditing procedures to inventories or property and equipment.

Basis for Disclaimer of Opinion

These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company's management. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) ("PCAOB") and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

[Signature]

We have served as the Company's auditor since [ year ].

[City and State or Country]

[Date]

10     The wording in the first sentence now states that "we were engaged to audit" rather than "we have audited" since, because of the scope limitation, the auditor was not able to perform an audit in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. In addition, the sentence that references the auditor's responsibility to express an opinion is deleted.

Piecemeal Opinions

.48     Piecemeal opinions (expressions of opinion as to certain identified items in financial statements) should not be expressed when the auditor has disclaimed an opinion or has expressed an adverse opinion on the financial statements taken as a whole because piecemeal opinions tend to overshadow or contradict a disclaimer of opinion or an adverse opinion.

Reports on Comparative Financial Statements

.49     The report shall either contain an expression of opinion regarding the financial statements taken as a whole or an assertion to the effect that an opinion cannot be expressed. Reference to the financial statements taken as a whole applies not only to the financial statements of the current period but also to those of one or more prior periods that are presented on a comparative basis with those of the current period. Therefore, a continuing auditor11 should update12 the report on the individual financial statements of the one or more prior periods presented on a comparative basis with those of the current period.13 Ordinarily, the auditor's report on comparative financial statements should be dated as of the date of completion of fieldwork for the most recent audit. (See AS 3110.01.)

11     A continuing auditor is one who has audited the financial statements of the current period and of one or more consecutive periods immediately prior to the current period. If one firm of independent auditors merges with another firm and the new firm becomes the auditor of a former client of one of the former firms, the new firm may accept responsibility and express an opinion on the financial statements for the prior period(s), as well as for those of the current period. In such circumstances, the new firm should follow the guidance in paragraphs .49 through .53 and may indicate in its report or signature that a merger took place and may name the firm of independent auditors that was merged with it. If the new firm decides not to express an opinion on the prior-period financial statements, the guidance in paragraphs .54 through .58 should be followed.

12     An updated report on prior-period financial statements should be distinguished from a reissuance of a previous report (see AS 3110.06 through .08), since in issuing an updated report the continuing auditor considers information that he or she has become aware of during his or her audit of the current-period financial statements (see paragraph .52) and because an updated report is issued in conjunction with the auditor's report on the current-period financial statements.

13     A continuing auditor need not report on the prior-period financial statements if only summarized comparative information of the prior period(s) is presented. For example, entities such as state and local governmental units frequently present total-all-funds information for the prior period(s) rather than information by individual funds because of space limitations or to avoid cumbersome or confusing formats. Also, not-for-profit organizations frequently present certain information for the prior period(s) in total rather than by net asset class. In some circumstances, the client may request the auditor to express an opinion on the prior period(s) as well as the current period. In those circumstances, the auditor should consider whether the information included for the prior period(s) contains sufficient detail to constitute a fair presentation in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles. In most cases, this will necessitate including additional columns or separate detail by fund or net asset class, or the auditor would need to modify his or her report.

.50     During the audit of the current-period financial statements, the auditor should be alert for circumstances or events that affect the prior-period financial statements presented (see paragraph .52) or the adequacy of informative disclosures concerning those statements. (See AS 2810.31.) In updating his or her report on the prior-period financial statements, the auditor should consider the effects of any such circumstances or events coming to his or her attention.

Different Reports on Comparative Financial Statements Presented

.51     Since the auditor's report on comparative financial statements applies to the individual financial statements presented, an auditor may express a qualified or adverse opinion, disclaim an opinion, or include an explanatory paragraph with respect to one or more financial statements for one or more periods, while issuing a different report on the other financial statements presented. Following are examples of reports on comparative financial statements with different reports on one or more financial statements presented.

The Auditor's Unqualified Report on the Prior-Year Financial Statements and a Qualified Opinion on the Current-Year Financial Statements

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To the shareholders and the board of directors of ABC Company

Opinion on the Financial Statements

We have audited the accompanying balance sheets of ABC Company (the "Company") as of December 31, 20X2 and 20X1, the related statements of [titles of the financial statements, e.g., income, comprehensive income, stockholders' equity, and cash flows] for each of the years then ended, and the related notes [and schedules] (collectively referred to as the "financial statements"). In our opinion, except for the effects on the 20X2 financial statements of not capitalizing certain lease obligations as described in the following paragraph, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 20X2 and 20X1, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the years then ended in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

The Company has excluded, from property and debt in the accompanying 20X2 balance sheet, certain lease obligations that were entered into in 20X2 which, in our opinion, should be capitalized in order to conform with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. If these lease obligations were capitalized, property would be increased by $_______, long-term debt by $_______, and retained earnings by $_______ as of December 31, 20X2, and net income and earnings per share would be increased (decreased) by $_______ and $_______, respectively, for the year then ended.

Basis for Opinion

[Same basic elements as the Basis for Opinion section of the auditor's unqualified report in AS 3101]

Critical Audit Matters [if applicable]

[Include critical audit matters]

[Signature]

We have served as the Company's auditor since [year].

[City and State or Country]

[Date]

The Auditor's Unqualified Report on the Current-Year Financial Statements With a Disclaimer of Opinion on the Prior-Year Statements of Income, Retained Earnings, and Cash Flows

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To the shareholders and the board of directors of ABC Company

Opinion on the Financial Statements

We have audited the accompanying balance sheets of ABC Company (the "Company") as of December 31, 20X2 and 20X1, and the related statements of [titles of the financial statements, e.g., income, comprehensive income, stockholders' equity, and cash flows] for the year ended December 31, 20X2, and the related notes [and schedules] (collectively referred to as the "financial statements"). In our opinion, the balance sheets of the Company as of December 31, 20X2 and 20X1, and the related statements of income, retained earnings, and cash flows for the year ended December 31, 20X2, present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 20X2 and 20X1, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the year ended December 31, 20X2, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Because of the matter discussed in the following paragraph, we were not able to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to provide a basis for an audit opinion on the results of operations and cash flows, and we do not express, an opinion on the results of operations and cash flows for the year ended December 31, 20X1.

We did not observe the taking of the physical inventory as of December 31, 20X0, since that date was prior to our appointment as auditors for the Company, and we were unable to satisfy ourselves regarding inventory quantities by means of other auditing procedures. Inventory amounts as of December 31, 20X0, enter into the determination of net income and cash flows for the year ended December 31, 20X1.14

Basis for Opinion

These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company's management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company's financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) ("PCAOB") and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

Except as explained above, we conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform our audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

Critical Audit Matters [if applicable]

[Include critical audit matters]

[Signature]

We have served as the Company's auditor since [ year ].

[City and State or Country]

[Date]

14     It is assumed that the independent auditor has been able to satisfy himself or herself as to the consistency of application of generally accepted accounting principles. See AS 2820 for a discussion of consistency. 

Opinion on Prior-Period Financial Statements Different From the Opinion Previously Expressed

.52     If, during the current audit, an auditor becomes aware of circumstances or events that affect the financial statements of a prior period, he or she should consider such matters when updating his or her report on the financial statements of the prior period. For example, if an auditor has previously qualified his or her opinion or expressed an adverse opinion on financial statements of a prior period because of a departure from generally accepted accounting principles, and the prior-period financial statements are restated in the current period to conform with generally accepted accounting principles, the auditor's updated report on the financial statements of the prior period should indicate that the statements have been restated and should express an unqualified opinion with respect to the restated financial statements.

.53     If, in an updated report, the opinion is different from the opinion previously expressed on the financial statements of a prior period, the auditor should disclose all the substantive reasons for the different opinion in a separate explanatory paragraph(s) immediately following the opinion paragraph of his or her report. The explanatory paragraph(s) should disclose (a) the date of the auditor's previous report, (b) the type of opinion previously expressed, (c) if applicable, a statement that the previously issued financial statements have been restated for the correction of a misstatement in the respective period, (d) the circumstances or events that caused the auditor to express a different opinion, and (e) if applicable, a reference to the company's disclosure of the correction of the misstatement, and (f) the fact that the auditor's updated opinion on the financial statements of the prior period is different from his or her previous opinion on those statements. The following is an example of a report that may be appropriate when an auditor issues an updated report on the financial statements of a prior period that contains an opinion different from the opinion previously expressed:

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To the shareholders and the board of directors of X Company

Opinion on the Financial Statements

We have audited the accompanying balance sheets of X Company (the "Company") as of December 31, 20X2 and 20X1, the related statements of [titles of the financial statements, e.g., income, comprehensive income, stockholders' equity, and cash flows] for each of the years then ended, and the related notes [and schedules] (collectively referred to as the "financial statements"). In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 20X2 and 20X1, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the years then ended in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

In our report dated March 1, 20X2, we expressed an opinion that the 20X1 financial statements did not fairly present financial position, results of operations, and cash flows in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America because of two departures from such principles: (1) the Company carried its property, plant, and equipment at appraisal values, and provided for depreciation on the basis of such values, and (2) the Company did not provide for deferred income taxes with respect to differences between income for financial reporting purposes and taxable income. As described in Note X, the Company has changed its method of accounting for these items and restated its 20X1 financial statements to conform with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Accordingly, our present opinion on the 20X1 financial statements, as presented herein, is different from that expressed in our previous report.15

Basis for Opinion

[Same basic elements as the Basis for Opinion section of the auditor's unqualified report in AS 3101]

Critical Audit Matters [if applicable]

[Include critical audit matters]

[Signature]

We have served as the Company's auditor since [year].

[City and State or Country]

[Date]

15     See footnote 6.

Report of Predecessor Auditor

.54     A predecessor auditor ordinarily would be in a position to reissue his or her report on the financial statements of a prior period at the request of a former client if he or she is able to make satisfactory arrangements with the former client to perform this service and if he or she performs the procedures described in paragraph .55.16

16     It is recognized that there may be reasons why a predecessor auditor's report may not be reissued and this section does not address the various situations that could arise.

Predecessor Auditor's Report Reissued

.55     Before reissuing (or consenting to the reuse of) a report previously issued on the financial statements of a prior period, when those financial statements are to be presented on a comparative basis with audited financial statements of a subsequent period, a predecessor auditor should consider whether his or her previous report on those statements is still appropriate. Either the current form or manner of presentation of the financial statements of the prior period or one or more subsequent events might make a predecessor auditor's previous report inappropriate. Consequently, a predecessor auditor should (a) read the financial statements of the current period, (b) compare the prior-period financial statements that he or she reported on with the financial statements to be presented for comparative purposes, and (c) obtain representation letters from management of the former client and from the successor auditor. The representation letter from management of the former client should state (a) whether any information has come to management's attention that would cause them to believe that any of the previous representations should be modified, and (b) whether any events have occurred subsequent to the balance-sheet date of the latest prior-period financial statements reported on by the predecessor auditor that would require adjustment to or disclosure in those financial statements.17 The representation letter from the successor auditor should state whether the successor's audit revealed any matters that, in the successor's opinion, might have a material effect on, or require disclosure in, the financial statements reported on by the predecessor auditor. Also, the predecessor auditor may wish to consider the matters described in paragraphs .10 through .12 of AS 1205, Part of the Audit Performed by Other Independent Auditors. However, the predecessor auditor should not refer in his or her reissued report to the report or work of the successor auditor.

17     See AS 2805, Management Representations, appendix C [paragraph .18], "Illustrative Updating Management Representation Letter."

.56     A predecessor auditor who has agreed to reissue his or her report may become aware of events or transactions occurring subsequent to the date of his or her previous report on the financial statements of a prior period that may affect his or her previous report (for example, the successor auditor might indicate in the response that certain matters have had a material effect on the prior-period financial statements reported on by the predecessor auditor). In such circumstances, the predecessor auditor should make inquiries and perform other procedures that he or she considers necessary (for example, reviewing the working papers of the successor auditor as they relate to the matters affecting the prior-period financial statements). The auditor should then decide, on the basis of the evidential matter obtained, whether to revise the report. If a predecessor auditor concludes that the report should be revised, he or she should follow the guidance in paragraphs .52, .53, and .57 of this section.

.57     A predecessor auditor's knowledge of the current affairs of his former client is obviously limited in the absence of a continuing relationship. Consequently, when reissuing the report on prior-period financial statements, a predecessor auditor should use the date of his or her previous report to avoid any implication that he or she has examined any records, transactions, or events after that date. If the predecessor auditor revises the report or if the financial statements are adjusted, he or she should dual-date the report. (See AS 3110.05.)

Predecessor Auditor's Report Not Presented

.58     If the financial statements of a prior period have been audited by a predecessor auditor whose report is not presented, the successor auditor should indicate in the paragraph immediately following the opinion paragraph of his or her report (a) that the financial statements of the prior period were audited by another auditor,18 (b) the date of his or her report, (c) the type of report issued by the predecessor auditor, and (d) if the report was other than an unqualified report, the substantive reasons therefor.19 An example of a successor auditor's report when the predecessor auditor's report is not presented is shown below:

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To the shareholders and the board of directors of ABC Company

Opinion on the Financial Statements

We have audited the accompanying balance sheet of ABC Company (the "Company") as of December 31, 20X2, and the related statements of [titles of the financial statements, e.g., income, comprehensive income, stockholders' equity, and cash flows], and the related notes [and schedules] (collectively referred to as the "financial statements"). In our opinion, the 20X2 financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 20X2, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the year then ended in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

The financial statements of the Company as of December 31, 20X1, were audited by other auditors whose report dated March 31, 20X2, expressed an unqualified opinion on those statements.

Basis for Opinion

[Same basic elements as the Basis for Opinion section of the auditor's unqualified report in AS 3101]

Critical Audit Matters [if applicable]

[Include critical audit matters]

[Signature]

We have served as the Company's auditor since [year].

[City and State or Country]

[Date]

If the predecessor auditor's report contained an explanatory paragraph or was other than an unqualified report, the successor auditor should describe the nature of and reasons for the explanatory paragraph added to the predecessor's report or the opinion qualification. Following is an illustration of the wording that may be included in the successor auditor's report:

. . . were audited by other auditors whose report dated March 1, 20X2, on those statements included an explanatory paragraph that described the change in the Company's method of computing depreciation discussed in Note X to the financial statements.

If the financial statements have been adjusted, the Opinion on the Financial Statements section should indicate that a predecessor auditor reported on the financial statements of the prior period before the adjustments. In addition, if the successor auditor is engaged to audit and applies sufficient procedures to satisfy himself or herself as to the appropriateness of the adjustments, he or she may also include the following paragraph in the auditor's report:

We also audited the adjustments described in Note X that were applied to restate the 20X1 financial statements. In our opinion, such adjustments are appropriate and have been properly applied.

18     The successor auditor should not name the predecessor auditor in his or her report; however, the successor auditor may name the predecessor auditor if the predecessor auditor's practice was acquired by, or merged with, that of the successor auditor.

19     If the predecessor's report was issued before the effective date of this section and contained an uncertainties explanatory paragraph, a successor auditor's report issued or reissued after the effective date hereof should not make reference to the predecessor's previously required explanatory paragraph.

Management Reports on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

.59     In situations in which management is required to report on the company's internal control over financial reporting but such report is not required to be audited, and the auditor has not been engaged to perform an audit of management's assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, the auditor should refer to the auditor's responsibilities regarding other information in documents containing audited financial statements and the independent auditor's report under AS 2710, Other Information in Documents Containing Audited Financial Statements.

.60     In situations described in paragraph .59, the auditor must include statements in the auditor's report that:

  • The company is not required to have, nor was the auditor engaged to perform, an audit of its internal control over financial reporting;
  • As part of the audit, the auditor is required to obtain an understanding of internal control over financial reporting but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the company's internal control over financial reporting; and
  • The auditor expresses no such opinion.

Following is an example of the Basis for Opinion section in the auditor's report that contains such statements:

[Basis for Opinion]

These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company's management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company's financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) ("PCAOB") and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. The Company is not required to have, nor were we engaged to perform, an audit of its internal control over financial reporting. As part of our audits we are required to obtain an understanding of internal control over financial reporting but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company's internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion.

Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

[Effective pursuant to SEC Release No. 34-81916, File No. PCAOB-2017-01 (October 23, 2017)]