SSARS 21 is the new professional standard that created the financial statement preparation service. SSARS 21 draws a bright line between CPA-assisted accounting services (leading to financial statement preparation) and traditional financial reporting services (compilation, review and audit). Have you ever been surprised when a little extra bookkeeping ends up triggering a compilation service? The new financial statement preparation service under SSARS 21 clarifies that blurriness. Under the former rules, CPAs were required to attach a compilation report when they were deemed to “submit” a financial statement to their client. However, those rules did not clearly define what “submission” was. Overlaying that environment are cloud-based accounting platforms which allow CPAs direct and efficient access to their clients’ accounting records. This creates unintended confusion around whether your CPA merely provided the bookkeeping assistance you hired him or her for, or in substance, compiled your financial statements. Under SSARS 21, in the same scenario, clients will engage their CPA for the professional service that they need—preparation or compilation. The CPA will perform the service that he or she is engaged for. Concerns over accidentally submitting financial statements are resolved.
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