An agreement between an auditor and client is a contract that defines a business relationship between the parties. It details the scope of work to be performed, who is responsible for what, and how long the audit should take among other things. It’s a crucial tool for maintaining the integrity of the audit process, and a key component in managing expectations from both sides.
Whether your firm provides tax returns, auditing, accounting, or financial consulting, you’re likely to encounter an agreement with every client. An effective engagement letter is critical for avoiding misunderstandings and setting clear boundaries for each party’s responsibilities from start to finish.
While a verbal contract is valid, an official written agreement has more legal weight than any other form of communication. The agreement must be signed by the authorized representatives of both parties, and it must include all the required elements of a contract, including consideration (money changing hands), mutually agreed-upon terms, and a time frame for performance.
The terms of the agreement should be set before the start of an audit, so there is a clear understanding of who is responsible for what and when. It should also describe the extent of the auditor’s responsibilities to avoid misunderstandings regarding documents and information needed to carry out the audit. It should clarify that the auditor cannot detect fraud and error 100% of the time, and that a complete audit isn’t always possible. The agreement should also specify the timeline and deliverables of the audit, and any fee arrangement for the service. It may also outline the minimum requirements for staff to be used to assist with an audit, and explain what data access is needed and how it will be granted. agreement between auditor and client