AUDIT AND ATTEST
In today’s business landscape, the accounting rules are shifting constantly. New standards, including convergence with international principles and other regulatory changes, are impacting businesses radically and at a faster pace than ever before. As a result, managing business risks has never been more important.
Our Audit and Attest services are designed to not only satisfy your regulatory requirements, but also to help you identify and reduce those business risks. In addition, a high-quality audit can increase your company’s access to capital and increase shareholder value.
From start-ups to large, multinational businesses in both the public and private sectors, OUM’s audit and attest professionals have the right experience to tailor our procedures to the unique situations of each client.
In addition to providing our clients an independent and objective view of their financial information, we offer valuable insight and advice on corporate governance and business practices, with the overall objective of increasing shareholder value and decreasing business risks. This is possible because we are consultants first. Our partner-to-staff ratio of 1:5 (where the industry average is 1:7) ensures our clients always have access to experienced professionals.
Our audit and attest clients also benefit from our deep industry expertise. OUM advises clients on risks and opportunities that are unique to their industries. Audit and attest services are not simply a commodity or compliance exercise. Our approach includes involving firm specialists in accounting, tax, valuation, and information technology, which often can result in efficiencies and process improvement opportunities for our clients’ businesses. By focusing on high-quality procedures and incorporating firm specialists in our process, we provide assurance to stakeholders through the quality and transparency of our clients’ financial reporting.
Financial Statement Audits & Public Company Audits
OUM is a Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) registered firm with extensive Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) experience.
Public companies face the highest level of scrutiny, as the need for financial transparency and responsibility are stressed more and more in financial statements. Consequently, the rules and regulations, procedures and deadlines that these companies face can be daunting. Because you confront countless challenges, the need for an experienced accounting firm with the ability to keep up with your operations is absolutely crucial.
Publicly held companies find that the sheer volume of SEC and PCAOB rules and the SEC’s numerous unpublished administrative positions prompt many complex issues and questions. OUM has committed substantial resources to handle a wide range of SEC issues characteristic of today’s complex regulatory environment.
OUM is not a newcomer to the demands of SEC clients. Our SEC group consists of professionals with many years of experience working with public companies, including those who have become public through initial public offerings and “reverse mergers.” As one of the largest SEC practices in the bay area, we have worked with public companies in industries ranging from technology to life sciences to consumer products to insurance to manufacturing. We currently audit public companies with market capitalizations that range from the millions to the billions of dollars.
As independent auditors, OUM has assisted its clients with over over 100 public and private offerings totaling more than $2.5 billion since 2005.
For companies with an eye towards going public, we have the experience to walk you through this involved transition. We can work seamlessly with your team of attorneys, investment bankers, and underwriters to navigate the complex issues inherent to the IPO process. Work with OUM and you will find our approach to be efficient, responsive, and proactive.
Our integrated audits for public companies combine the financial statement audit with an audit of the company’s internal control over financial reporting. Our approach to these integrated audits reflects the top-down, risk-based methodology advocated by regulators as a way to make audits more efficient without losing the benefits of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
You can always expect us to:
- Perform audits in accordance with PCAOB standards
- Help you to greatly reduce the risk of financial miscommunication
- Ensure relevant information is provided to decision makers in a timely manner
- Keep you updated on current developments in financial reporting
- Provide you with all required PCAOB communications and other observations for audits and quarterly reviews
OUM’s assurance, tax, and IT professionals have a broad range and depth of experience in providing services to publicly traded companies in a wide variety of industries.
The services we provide include:
ASSURANCE AND BUSINESS ADVISORY SERVICES
- Integrated audits of financial statements and internal control over financial reporting (ICFR)
- Financial statement audits and reviews
- Assistance with the initial public offering process
- Comfort letters
- ICFR documentation assessments and reporting for management
- Accounting guidance on complex transactions, including revenue recognition, debt and equity financing, and business combinations
- Regulatory compliance and reporting
- International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) reporting
- Design of accounting and management reporting systems
- Evaluation of business processes and formulation of business continuity plans
- Financial due diligence on mergers and acquisitions, and divestitures
- Agreed-upon procedures engagements
- Forensic accounting and litigation support services
- Employee benefit plan audits (ERISA)
TAXATION FOR CORPORATIONS
- Tax return preparation and consulting
- Assistance with accounting for income taxes and tax provision preparation
- Structuring of business sales and acquisitions
- State and local tax (SALT) consulting
- Tax accounting method changes and identification
- Change of ownership studies under IRC Section 382
- Tax credit procurement services (e.g., R&D credits, Enterprise Zone credits)
- Compensation planning (including stock options and deferred compensation arrangements under IRC Section 409A)
- Intercompany transfer pricing strategies for multi-national companies
- Risk assessments
- Planning and strategies
- SOX/ICFR compliance
- Disaster recovery plans
Employee Benefit Plan Audits
A well performed audit is vital protection for your employee benefit plan. Generally, federal law requires employee benefit plans with 100 or more eligible participants to have an audit as part of their obligation to file an annual Form 5500. If your employee benefit plan is required to have an audit, one of the most important duties of the plan administrator is to hire a qualified independent public accountant.
OUM has an extensive background in employee benefit plan audits. We have found that companies who engage us enjoy a reduction in audit fees and an increase in client service. We make significant investments in our relationships with employee benefit plan clients.
Some key benefits of working with OUM include:
- Ongoing partner involvement
- Candid and timely communication
- Continuity of experienced professional staff
Our firm believes that staff continuity starts at the partner level. We believe that for excellent client service to be achieved, partners must be directly and actively involved with our clients. Like all CPA firms, we use our staff to undertake some of the work. However, unlike many CPA firms, our partners are active, working participants in all of our projects. Thus, our partners provide continuity from year to year. Furthermore, our staff turnover has been very limited in recent years and we expect this to continue in the foreseeable future.
The increasing complexity of employee benefit plan auditing and increased scrutiny by the Department of Labor have resulted in a significant number of changes and issues for auditing firms. We provide our staff with comprehensive and ongoing technical training so that they keep abreast of the many issues involved in auditing employee benefit plans. Our firm is a member of the AICPA’s Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center, which is an organization established to promote the quality of employee benefit plan audits. In addition, we participate in monthly teleconferences with the BDO Alliance Employee Benefit Plan Community, which is a forum where BDO Alliance firms nation-wide discuss technical accounting and auditing issues relating to employee benefit plans. Additionally, our technical knowledge is enhanced by the national technical professionals of BDO USA, LLP, allowing us to provide the personal service and attention of a local firm, with access to the depth and technical resources of a large national firm.
Audits of employee benefit plans are not like other audits. Employee benefit plan audits require specialized knowledge to address the specific rules applicable to such an audit. Our audit strategy involves utilizing knowledgeable OUM professionals experienced in employee benefit plan audits in all aspects of the audit. A partner will be your primary contact at OUM for communicating and resolving audit issues on an ongoing basis throughout the engagement. We encourage active and two-way communications during all phases of the audit, and spend time up front to plan and organize the audit process to be as efficient and cost-effective as possible.
We focus our resources on higher risk areas, develop and continuously evaluate materiality thresholds, and place reliance on internal controls where appropriate. We also evaluate a plan’s susceptibility to reporting error and fraud, and we evaluate the control environment, IT environment, SSAE 18 (formerly SSAE 16/SAS 70) reports, and recent results and significant current year events.
Reviews and Compilations
Our financial statement review process is less extensive than an audit. It relies primarily on inquiry, analytics, an understanding of the organization and contractual arrangements in order to provide limited assurance that your financial statements are presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
Our process of applying analytics to the company’s current and historical data against industry information, combined with our ability to ask the right questions, results in valuable information for our clients. In addition, we help our clients adapt these techniques so they can better evaluate their operations on a month-by-month and even week-by-week basis.
Compilations provide the lowest level of assurance. Our service is based on obtaining a general knowledge of the organization and presenting your financial information in the form of financial statements.
Agreed Upon Procedures
From fact-finding to gaining important insights on specific components of a business, situations often call for a more precise approach to data analysis. In these circumstances an “Agreed-Upon Procedures” engagement can be a useful solution. Under such an arrangement we carry out very specific work to cover your areas of concern in a laser-focused manner. This avoids carrying out unnecessary work to provide a much broader opinion and makes the scope of work for you entirely clear.
OUM’s “Agreed-Upon Procedures” professionals are highly skilled in examining financial records and operational efficiencies for specific purposes – issuing clear, precise, and high-quality results. Upholding the highest level of service and an impartial perspective, we provide service in the areas of due diligence, document inspections, compliance, performance, internal controls, projections and forecasts, and mathematical computations and calculation verifications, to obtain and verify various financial and operational data for our clients’ specified needs. Conducted in accordance with the standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), our “Agreed-Upon Procedures” services deliver the tailored solutions and objective expertise you require, without the commitment of a more in-depth engagement.