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assess To determine the value, significance, or extent of. The level of control risk determined by the auditor, based on tests of controls, is the assessed level of control risk. assurance engagement is an engagement in which an accountant issues a report designed to enhance the degree of confidence of third parties and management about the outcome of an evaluation or measurement of financial statements (subject matter) against an applicable financial reporting framework (criteria).

attest (attestation) report In an attest engagement, a practitioner issues a written conclusion about the reliability of a written assertion that is the responsibility of another.

accounting records are the records of initial accounting entries and supporting records, such as checks and records of electronic fund transfers; invoices; contracts; the general and subsidiary ledgers; journal entries and other adjustments to the financial statements that are not reflected in journal entries; and records, such as work sheets and spreadsheets, supporting cost allocations, computations, reconciliations, and disclosures.

accounting research bulletins (ARBs) were issued years ago to set generally accepted accounting principles.

aicpa American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. However, each state uses the uniform CPA exam prepared and graded by the AICPA. Depreciation, amortization, and depletion are methods to allocate costs to periods benefited.

allowance for doubtful accounts A contra asset account with a credit balance used to reduce the carrying amount of accounts receivable to net realizable value.

The allowance balance is the estimated total of uncollectible accounts included in accounts receivable.

applicable financial reporting framework is the financial reporting framework adopted in the preparation of the financial statements that is acceptable in view of the nature of the entity and the objective of the financial statements, or that is required by law or regulation. A manager authorizes a cash payment by signing a voucher providing approval for the disbursement.

If you buy or sell something to a close relative, you might give better terms than to an unrelated party, so the price might not represent the true market value of the goods or services.

ascertain An audit procedure to determine or to discover with certainty.

An example is to compare actual interest expense for the year (a financial statement amount) with an estimate of what that interest expense should be.

The estimate can be found by multiplying a reasonable interest rate times the average balance of interest bearing debt outstanding during the year (the auditor’s expectation).