Management assertions or financial statement assertions are the implicit or explicit assertions that the preparer of financial statements (management) is making to its users. Financial statements include assertions related to the recognition, measurement, presentation, and disclosure of the financial information contained within such statements. The role of the auditor in a financial statement audit is to obtain evidence as to whether management's assertions can be supported.
Both United States and International auditing standards include guidance related to financial statement assertions. The PCAOB and the IFAC address financial statement assertions in AS 15 and ISA 315, respectively. Auditors generally classify assertions into three categories:
- Transactions and events
- Occurrence — the transactions recorded have actually taken place.
- Completeness — all transactions that should have been recorded have been recorded.
- Authorization — all transactions that are recorded were appropriately authorized.
- Accuracy — the transactions were recorded at the appropriate amounts.
- Cutoff — the transactions have been recorded in the correct accounting period.
- Classification — the transactions have been recorded in the appropriate caption.
- Accounts balances as of period end
- Existence — assets, liabilities and equity balances exist.
- Rights and Obligations — the entity legally controls rights to its assets and its liabilities faithfully represent its obligations.
- Completeness — all balances that should have been recorded have been recorded.
- Valuation and Allocation — balances that are included in the financial statements are appropriately valued and allocation adjustments are appropriately recorded.
- Presentation and disclosure
- Occurrence — the transactions and disclosures have actually occurred.
- Rights and Obligations — the transactions and disclosures pertain to the entity.
- Completeness — all disclosures have been included in the financial statements.
- Classification — financial statements are clear and appropriately presented.
- Accuracy and Valuation — information is disclosed at the appropriate amounts.
- "Auditing Standard No. 15.11". http://pcaobus.org/. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. Retrieved 25 September 2014. External link in
- "Auditing Standard No. 15.2". http://pcaobus.org/. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. Retrieved 25 September 2014. External link in
- "INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ON AUDITING 315 (REVISED) A124" (PDF). http://www.ifac.org/. International Federation of Accountants. Retrieved 26 September 2014. External link in
- "AU Section 326" (PDF). aicpa.org. American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Retrieved 25 September 2014.