Skip to main content Skip to search

Assurance & Attest

Attestation Services

Minneapolis & St. Cloud, MN

In today’s skeptical business environment, users of financial information are demanding greater reliability of financial and non-financial data. You need to be able to rely on what you see to be able to make sound judgments about your current operations or about your future plans.

LB Carlson’s Assurance and Attest Services offer a broad range of expertise that takes your future into account. We help you assess the quality of information you use to make decisions, develop creative solutions, and evaluate your company’s performance or the performance of others.

Connect with Jerry Ostergren, CPA today.

AGREED-UPON PROCEDURES
We can respond to your needs to obtain independent assurance on the reliability or validity of information that is outside of financial statement audit requirements.

Agreed-upon procedure engagements are a unique attestation engagement. They are designed to meet a specific assurance requirement using specified procedures agreed to by the party desiring the assurance. We report procedures and findings rather than a conclusion. Our report enumerates the procedures performed, states our findings, and restricts the use of the report to the party that agreed to the procedures. The parties can be you, banks, vendors, customers or others.

We can also provide an examination or review attestation service that will provide a written communication expressing a conclusion about the reliability of an assertion that is the responsibility of another party.

These engagements may be used to:

  • Limit assurance to specific accounts in financial statements
  • Fulfill responsibilities to parties to a contract
  • Provide assurance on specific transactions

BENEFIT PLAN AUDITS
As you consider your needs for a plan auditor and advisor, consider the experience, commitment and value that LB Carlson can offer. Our specialized service by our Benefit Plan Audit Services Group can help you cope with the increasingly complex rules, regulations and reporting requirements for benefit plans. In addition to assisting with compliance, we can evaluate internal controls or the effectiveness and quality of outsourced plan recordkeeping and reporting. We can also assess whether, as a plan sponsor, you are meeting your fiduciary responsibilities.

We are a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center and use the tools and continuing education provided by the center as well as other internal and outside resources. Our commitment to education and training means our staff has thorough knowledge of current issues.

DUE DILLIGENCE
Generally, due diligence is the process necessary to confirm all material facts before entering into an agreement or transaction with another party.

The objective of our due diligence services is to collect information for management to use in decision-making relative to joint ventures, mergers, consolidations, investments, and other types of acquisitions or transactions. Normally, three parties — management, lawyers and LB Carlson — are involved in the due diligence process. We can take the lead and coordinate the entire process or work under the direction of the law firm.

We assist in gathering and analyzing information about potential sellers as well as evaluating the buyer if we are working for the seller. We will consult and make recommendations based on our findings. When providing services for a buyer, a quality of earnings report is a common due diligence service request.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS/ATTEST
Our assurance services for financial statements include year-end and interim periods. We know that our clients are best served if we can identify opportunities for you to improve operations, safeguard assets and increase profits. Our approach in all of our financial statement engagements is to gain an understanding of your business so we can provide useful advice that takes your future into account.

Audit

Audits provide assurance to third parties including stockholders, creditors and banks, grantors, and regulators that financial statements are presented, in all material respects, in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

Our audit procedures include obtaining an understanding of your organization and its internal controls. We assess the risk of material misstatement of the financial statements whether due to error or fraud, and design the nature, timing, and extent of our audit tests that are responsive to the assessed risks. We test your accounting records and your responses to our inquiries by obtaining sufficient evidence through inspection, observation, confirmation, and analytical procedures.

At the conclusion of our audit, we provide a written report expressing our opinion as to whether the financial statements, including the financial statement note disclosures, are in accordance with GAAP.

Review

A review of financial statements provides limited assurance that there are no material modifications that should be made to the financial statements in order for them to be in conformity with GAAP.

We perform inquiry and analytical procedures and obtain representations from management in order to issue our review report covering the financial statements and required note disclosures.

Compilation

A compilation of financial statements presents information that is the representation of management in financial statement format. Financial statement note disclosures are not required and we do not express any assurance on the financial statements.

Even though our compilation service provides no assurance, we improve the quality of the compiled financial information by assisting clients in presenting it in accordance with GAAP or other comprehensive basis of accounting (OCBOA). Although our report does not provide any measure of assurance, our involvement often helps provide assurance to third parties. Providing compiled personal financial statements to creditors is an example of where our involvement is often useful.

FORECASTS & PROJECTIONS

We help clients take their future into account by providing forecast and projection services. We focus on the details and format/template design to provide forecasts that are effective and useful forward-looking management tools. We believe no business or organization should operate without a budget; it provides the foundation for management decisions regarding cash flow, equipment and personnel needs and is essential to safeguarding assets and internal accounting controls.

Besides forecasting and planning expected operations, projections can be useful in evaluating, analyzing and communicating important business decisions including:

  • Equipment purchases and facility expansion
  • Relocations and building purchases
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Consolidations of operating facilities
  • Financing alternatives
  • Raising capital and informing investors
  • Determining cash flow requirements
  • Minimization of income taxes

The objective of developing prospective financial information is not to predict the future, but to provide information to improve the decision-making process.

INTERNAL CONTROL EVALUATION

In today’s business environment, users of financial and non-financial information are demanding greater reliability. Our internal control evaluation and consulting services can provide recommendations to improve reliability of information and efficiencies in processes and controls. We can assess and provide recommendations to reduce business risk exposure including fraud and undetected errors and to safeguard business assets.

Our services include:

  • Internal control reviews and assessments
  • Process improvement reviews
  • Outsourced internal audit
  • Information systems reviews
  • Fraud risk assessments and investigations
  • Assessment of financial statement preparation process
  • Testing of internal control design effectiveness

PUBLIC COMPANIES

Although we are not registered to audit public companies, we are able to supply many services, including services that auditors are expressly prohibited from providing to their public company audit clients.

Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Compliance

We can help you comply with Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 requirements and improve internal controls effectiveness and efficiency. We will approach this project with a responsive focus on your business needs and will deploy a practical methodology that will help you accomplish your goals. If you need a strong local service team that can react quickly to your needs, we can help.

Other Services

We are well-qualified to assist public companies with services that may be prohibited or require Board of Directors pre-approval:

  • Financial statement and notes preparation
  • Accounting standards implementation
  • Bookkeeping
  • Valuation services
  • Information systems design & implementation
  • Litigation support services
  • Tax return preparation and consulting

SERVICE ORGANIZATION CONTROLS (SOC REPORTS)
CYBER SECURITY SERVICES

Create Opportunities with Data Security

Cyber security is a journey and it is different for every business. The journey is about risk management, not risk elimination. LB Carlson professionals and our cyber security affiliates can work side-by-side with you to develop cyber security strategy which is appropriate for your business. We can help with governance, culture change, organization and administration transformation, cyber defense and response, and developing policies and procedures. In today’s digital environment, your reputation is dependent on protecting data.

Whether your goal is to be confident that your business can operate without a crippling disruption from a cyber security event or if you handle customer data which requires a secure environment, we can help. We can recommend solutions and assist with implementation.

Our System and Organization Controls (SOC) team can provide SOC 2 or SOC 3 reports to provide your customers or potential customers the comfort they require for assuring effective data security controls exist to protect their outsourced production data. The SOC reports are a valuable sales tool for many of our clients. Most cloud service providers also benefit from having a SOC report available for customers and their auditors.

As CPA’s, we can also report on the effectiveness of your cybersecurity risk management program to meet the need of a broad range of stakeholders using the AICPA’s SOC for Cybersecurity reporting framework.

THE FOLLOWING INDUSTRIES CAN LIKELY BENEFIT FROM OR WILL EVENTUALLY NEED A SOC 2 REPORT

» Software as a Service (SaaS)
» Hosting provider
» Application service provider (ASP)
» Debt collection services
» Health care service provider
» Printing production
» Government service provider

ALSO, IF YOU PROVIDE PRODUCTION OR SERVICES TO CUSTOMERS IN THE FOLLOWING INDUSTRIES

» Finance
» Banking
» Retail pharmacy
» Health care
» Pharmaceuticals
» Investments
» Insurance