Assurance engagements (e.g., audit, review, compilation, and agreed-upon-procedures) typically start with a Request for Proposal (RFP). In response to such requests, Holyfield & Thomas, LLC provides a detailed proposal describing the Firm and our mission, our methodology, references, and an estimated fee. When selected for the engagement, we prepare an engagement letter that details the scope of work to be provided, the proposed fees, the estimated dates for the engagement performance, and dates of delivery.
Following the receipt of the signed engagement letter, Holyfield & Thomas, LLC arranges with management to hold a pre-audit meeting, the goal of which is to review timelines, establish relationships with management, introduce the audit team, review preliminary trial balance information, and discuss areas of management concern. Prior the start of the engagement, our team provides a “want list” of preliminary documents needed for the engagement. Typically these meetings are held a few weeks prior to the beginning of the start date of fieldwork.
Fieldwork is the most labor intensive portion of the engagement process. Our team works with client personnel to gather supporting documentation, perform test of controls, document internal control procedures, and inquire of management. We also conduct substantive tests of transactions and reported balances through examination of original documentation, confirmation with third parties, and analytical review. The engagement team strives to limit interference with the organization's daily operations. Communication is the best practice for an efficient and effective fieldwork process.
The results of testing, application of accounting policies, and discussion about balance adjustments and/or needed disclosures are all reviewed during an exit conference with management and/or the Audit Committee.
Audit deliverables generally involve three main documents: the financial statements, the letter to the audit committee, and the management comment letter. These items are often presented in draft form prior to issuance of the final document, so that the organization has every opportunity to provide all relevant data that address noted findings. We provide an agreed upon number of reports, along with electronic copies, if requested. In some cases, there may be additional deliverables that are requested by management to comply with various law, regulations, and grantor agencies. Please note that we must require and receive a signed client representation letter from management prior to the release of finalized reports.
The conclusion of many audit and assurance engagements involves a formal presentation of the report to the audit committee and/or board of directors. We are always available to make these presentations.