Attesting is an evaluation provided by a CPA or CPA firm that gives data about the reliability of an assertion that is the responsibility of another party. Attestation services primarily involves financial information. Assurance services are independent professional services that improve the quality of data for those in the decision-making process. Assurance services involves some element of judgement based on experience and education. Assurance services can be performed by CPAs or a variety of other professionals. The difference between the two is assurance engagements does not reference financial statements within the reports, since the reports are not centered around the fair presentation of them.
A firm should have documentation of quality control policies and procedures and documentation of compliance with quality control policies and procedures.
The size, structure, and nature of the practice of the firm should be considered in determining whether documentation of established quality control policies and procedures is required for effective communication. A firm should prepare appropriate documentation to demonstrate compliance with its policies and procedures for the quality control system. The form and content of such documentation is a matter of judgment and depends on a number of factors, such as the size of a firm, the number of offices, the degree of authority allowed its personnel and its offices, the nature and complexity of the firm’s practice, its organization, and appropriate cost-benefit considerations. Documentation should be retained for a period of time sufficient to enable those performing monitoring procedures and a peer review to evaluate the extent of the firm’s compliance with its quality control policies and procedures.