An independent examination is a form of external scrutiny that provides a limited check on specific matters. This limited form of check contrasts with an audit. The examiner is only required to confirm whether any material matters of concern have come to their attention, whilst an auditor is required to provide an opinion on whether a charity’s accounts give a ‘true and fair view.
The auditor is required to plan their work to identify material fraud or to plan to test the internal financial controls operating in the charity. An auditor builds up a body of evidence to support a positive statement as to whether the accounts give a ‘true and fair view’. An audit is carried out in accordance with international auditing standards and the audit guidance issued by the Financial Reporting Council.
An examination is therefore a limited form of scrutiny compared to an audit. It provides less assurance in terms of the depth of work which is to be carried out and is limited as to the matters on which the examiner reports.”
(Independent examination of charity accounts: Directions and guidance for examiners (CC32)
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