A compilation engagement is a service provided by an outside accountant to assist the management in the presentation of financial data in the form of financial statements. The accountant should possess a greater knowledge of the operations of the business in order to compile the financial statements.
An accountant tasked with the responsibility of providing compilation services is required to possess sufficient industry-level knowledge of the client. He or she is not required to be independent of the company requiring compilation services in order to perform such a form of engagement. The management accepts full responsibility for the preparation and presentation of the financial statements, which can be either an individual financial statement, such as the balance sheet, or a complete set of financial statements.
Unlike an audit engagement where auditors are required to provide an opinion on the fairness of the financial statements, a compilation engagement does not require the accountant to provide an opinion on the correctness of the financial statements.
Also, it does not provide assurance that the company has complied with the accepted accounting principles. Therefore, the accountant engaged in a compilation engagement is not required to use analytical procedures, review procedures, or inquiries, or engage in other audit procedures. A compilation engagement is the least expensive of the various audit types. It is preferred by entities whose key stakeholders approve such a form of engagement.