Accountant's Letter

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Accountant's Letter'

A letter that usually precedes a financial report. An accountant's letter is produced by a company's independent auditors. It summarizes the scope of the accountant's audit and its results in very general terms. The term is frequently used interchangeably with the term "auditor's opinion".

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Accountant's Letter'

The accountant's letter usually expresses a "clean" opinion, which means the accountant or accounting firm believes the financial statements are accurate and that they fairly present the company's financial condition. A "qualified" opinion indicates deficiencies in the company's procedures or presentation (meaning the financial statements may not be accurate or may not conform to GAAP).

An "adverse" opinion, which indicates that a company's financials are misrepresented, is yet another possibility. The most well known opinion is the "going concern", which means that the accounting firm has doubts about the company's financial health and its ability to remain in business.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Independent Auditor

    A certified public accountant who examines the financial records ...
  2. Opinion Shopping

    The practice of searching for an outside auditor who will provide ...
  3. Qualified Opinion

    A statement written upon the front page of an audit done by a ...
  4. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ...

    The common set of accounting principles, standards and procedures ...
  5. Liability

    A company's legal debts or obligations that arise during the ...
  6. Going Concern

    A term for a company that has the resources needed in order to ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. Why would you use the TTM (trailing twelve months) rather than the data from the ...

    Public companies report their yearly financial statements along with an annual report. However, financial professionals are ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Why is it important for an investor to understand business accounting?

    Investors use financial statements to obtain valuable information used in valuation and credit analysis of companies. Therefore, ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the business consequences of using FIFO vs. LIFO accounting methods?

    If a company uses a first-in, first-out accounting method (FIFO), it's likely that its reported earnings will be higher than ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do you analyze inventory on the balance sheet?

    In accounting, inventory represents a company's raw materials, work in progress and finished products. Financial professionals ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How are contingent liabilities reflected on a balance sheet

    Contingent liabilities need to pass two thresholds before they can be reported in the financial statements. First, it must ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How do businesses determine if an asset may be impaired?

    In the United States, assets are considered impaired when net carrying value (book value) exceeds expected future cash flows. ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    12 Things You Need To Know About Financial Statements

    Discover how to keep score of companies to increase your chances of choosing a winner.
  2. Retirement

    Common Clues Of Financial Statement Manipulation

    Search for the "bloody" fingerprints in accounting crimes.
  3. Professionals

    Examining A Career As An Auditor

    Stricter government regulations have put auditing professionals in demand.
  4. Markets

    Using Accounting Analysis To Measure Earnings Quality

    Learn the accounting concepts that will help you to dig into to the details to find earnings manipulation.
  5. Options & Futures

    Advanced Financial Statement Analysis

    Learn what it means to do your homework on a company's performance and reporting practices before investing.
  6. Fundamental Analysis

    What is Quantitative Analysis?

    Quantitative analysis refers to the use of mathematical computations to analyze markets and investments.
  7. Economics

    Explaining Residual Value

    Residual value is a measurement of how much a fixed asset is worth at the end of its lease, or at the end of its useful life.
  8. Fundamental Analysis

    Why Last In First Out Is Banned Under IFRS

    We explain why Last-In-First-Out is banned under IFRS
  9. Economics

    Understanding Carrying Value

    Carrying value is the value of an asset as listed on a company’s balance sheet. Carrying value is the same as book value.
  10. Economics

    International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)

    International Financial Reporting Standards are accounting rules and guidelines governing the reporting of different types of accounting transactions.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Geometric Mean

    The average of a set of products, the calculation of which is commonly used to determine the performance results of an investment ...
  2. Fisher Effect

    An economic theory proposed by economist Irving Fisher that describes the relationship between inflation and both real and ...
  3. Fiduciary

    1. A person legally appointed and authorized to hold assets in trust for another person. The fiduciary manages the assets ...
  4. Expected Return

    The amount one would anticipate receiving on an investment that has various known or expected rates of return. For example, ...
  5. Carrying Value

    An accounting measure of value, where the value of an asset or a company is based on the figures in the company's balance ...
  6. Capital Account

    A national account that shows the net change in asset ownership for a nation. The capital account is the net result of public ...
Trading Center