EXTERNAL AUDIT is an audit conducted by an individual or firm that is independent of the company being audited. These independent auditors audit the books of a company generally once per year (see INTERIM AUDIT) after the completion of the companys fiscal year. Their role is to give an opinion of the financials statements reflection of the status and operations of the company being audited. Based on what they witness during the audit they will also produce, for management and board utilization, a management letter. Although a financial statement audit is the most common type of external audit, external auditors may also conduct special purpose audits which might include; performing specific tests and procedures and reporting on the results, a less intensive review, and compilations.
HARD ASSETS are physical assets (land, buildings, equipment) and financial assets (cash, credit, financial instruments). Hard assets are usually on the records of account in an organization and subjected to inventory and/or custodial safeguards. See also SOFT ASSETS.
INVENTORY VARIANCE see VARIANCE.
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