Negative Assurance

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DEFINITION of 'Negative Assurance'

A representation that particular facts are believed to be accurate since no contrary evidence has been found. Negative assurance is normally used by auditors in situations where it may not be possible to positively confirm the accuracy of financial reports. Since fully auditing a public company in accordance with generally accepted accounting standards is an extremely large task, a positive assurance is normally issued only when legally required.

BREAKING DOWN 'Negative Assurance'

A positive assurance of accuracy is considered stronger, and is required for certain audited financial reports released by public companies. Negative assurance is most often issued when an accountant reviews certified financial statements prepared by another accountant. In this case, since another accountant has already certified the accuracy of the statements, a negative assurance is often seen as sufficient to confirm that the statements are free or material misstatements.

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