EXTERNAL AUDIT Definition

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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.

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CUSTOMS are the authorities charged with collecting duty and controlling the entry of merchandise into a country.

GOODWILL is that intangible possession which enables a business to continue to earn a profit that is in excess of the normal or basic rate of profit earned by other businesses of similar type. The goodwill of a business may be due to a particularly favorable location, its reputation in the community, or the quality of its employer and employees. The evidence that goodwill exists is the proven ability to earn excess profits. Goodwill is created on the books of a newly purchased company to the extent that the purchase price of the company is greater than the value of its net tangible assets. There are a number of methods for valuing goodwill: a. Simple Capitalization - The net profit of the business is capitalized to determine the total value of the business. The value of all the tangible assets is subtracted from the total value to establish the value of the intangible assets, or goodwill. b. Excess Earnings - the amount of earnings that are in excess of those normally earned by a similar business are capitalized to determine the value of goodwill. c. Income Tax Method - The past five years net income is averaged and a reasonable expected rate of return for tangible assets and salary requirements are subtracted. The resulting value is then capitalized to arrive at the goodwill value. d. Market Value - The price a willing seller would accept and a willing buyer would pay for goodwill. e. Buy /Sell Agreement - The value of goodwill is established by a formula in the buy/ sell agreement. f. Rule of Thumb - Goodwill is worth one years gross income.

A firm that shows increasing goodwill over a multi-year period likely has a sustainable competitive advantage.

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