Negative Confirmation

DEFINITION of 'Negative Confirmation'

A request by an auditor sent to a sample of a company's customers asking them to respond only if they find a discrepancy between their books and the account recorded on the financial statements of the company being audited. Negative conformation is used when the accounting controls of a company have historically had very few errors and are thus considered to be strong. The company is asked to double-check the numbers and only confirm if there is a discrepancy.

BREAKING DOWN 'Negative Confirmation'

Negative confirmation is simply a professional way for an auditor to say "don't bother me unless there is a problem." Sending out a negative conformation as opposed to a positive conformation, which requires a response, can save time that would be spent tracking replies and hounding companies that are late in responding. The accountant is just making sure both companies have the same numbers.


For example, there could be a negative request to a car manufacturer on the sale of 200 cars, which were sold to a dealership for $6 million. If this was the correct transaction, the manufacturer would not reply; if the cost price was only $5 million, the manufacturer would notify the accountant of the discrepancy in the dealership's books.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Audit

    An unbiased examination and evaluation of the financial statements ...
  2. Auditing Evidence

    The information collected for review of a company's financial ...
  3. Negative Assurance

    A representation that particular facts are believed to be accurate ...
  4. Independent Auditor

    A certified public accountant who examines the financial records ...
  5. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ...

    The common set of accounting principles, standards and procedures ...
  6. Auditor's Report

    Recorded in the annual report, the auditor's report tests to ...
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. Insurance

    Getting A Job As The Tax Man

    If you'd like the IRS to pay you some money for a change, consider a career working in taxes.
  3. Personal Finance

    A Look At Accounting Careers

    More than just crunching numbers, this career blends detective work with trouble shooting.
  4. Retirement

    Avoid An Audit: 6 "Red Flags" You Should Know

    Don't make yourself a target - steer clear of these attention-grabbing tax-filing practices.
  5. Professionals

    Examining A Career As An Auditor

    Stricter government regulations have put auditing professionals in demand.
  6. Economics

    Understanding Cost-Volume Profit Analysis

    Business managers use cost-volume profit analysis to gauge the profitability of their company’s products or services.
  7. Fundamental Analysis

    5 Must-Have Metrics For Value Investors

    Focusing on certain fundamental metrics is the best way for value investors to cash in gains. Here are the most important metrics to know.
  8. Investing Basics

    How to Analyze a Company's Inventory

    Discover how to analyze a company's inventory by understanding different types of inventory and doing a quantitative and qualitative assessment of inventory.
  9. Professionals

    A Day In The Life Of A Public Accountant

    Here's an inside look at the workdays of two experienced CPAs, to give you an idea of what it might be like to pursue a career as a public accountant.
  10. Professionals

    A Day in the Life of a Public Accountant

    There’s no typical day in the life of a public accountant, but one accountant’s experience may shed some light on what the career entails.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Do plane tickets get cheaper closer to the date of departure?

    The price of flights usually increases one month prior to the date of departure. Flights are usually cheapest between three ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can working capital be depreciated?

    Working capital as current assets cannot be depreciated the way long-term, fixed assets are. In accounting, depreciation ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Do working capital funds expire?

    While working capital funds do not expire, the working capital figure does change over time. This is because it is calculated ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How much working capital does a small business need?

    The amount of working capital a small business needs to run smoothly depends largely on the type of business, its operating ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What does high working capital say about a company's financial prospects?

    If a company has high working capital, it has more than enough liquid funds to meet its short-term obligations. Working capital, ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How can working capital affect a company's finances?

    Working capital, or total current assets minus total current liabilities, can affect a company's longer-term investment effectiveness ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Super Bowl Indicator

    An indicator based on the belief that a Super Bowl win for a team from the old AFL (AFC division) foretells a decline in ...
  2. Flight To Quality

    The action of investors moving their capital away from riskier investments to the safest possible investment vehicles. This ...
  3. Discouraged Worker

    A person who is eligible for employment and is able to work, but is currently unemployed and has not attempted to find employment ...
  4. Ponzimonium

    After Bernard Madoff's $65 billion Ponzi scheme was revealed, many new (smaller-scale) Ponzi schemers became exposed. Ponzimonium ...
  5. Quarterly Earnings Report

    A quarterly filing made by public companies to report their performance. Included in earnings reports are items such as net ...
Trading Center