Key Concepts: Qualifications of Assurance Providers

Check the report for external assurances as well as internal assurances. Determine the assurer’s qualifications. Not all assurers are equally qualified. Assurers should be independent from the organization whose information they are assuring.

External assurance providers are not employees of the organization and therefore are generally more objective than internal assurance providers. However, internal auditors perform valuable work before an external assurer is engaged.

A truly independent assurance provider has the following qualifications:

• No financial interest in the reporting organization;
• Not heavily dependent on the reporting organization for income; and
• Not assuring consulting work prepared by the assurer’s own firm at another time.