Attestation engagement refers to the audits, as well as other services which require an auditor to issue a written communication expressing his or her conclusion regarding the reliability of a written assertion whose responsibility is in the hand of another party (Messier, 1997). Attestation engagement relates to the examination, review, or performance of agreed-upon procedures of an assertion. Attestation engagement’s subject matter takes numerous forms from historical events, prospective conditions, systems, analyses to physical features. Subjects that can be reported on in attestation engagement include the concluding cost of a contract, agreed-upon procedures, the conformity of an entity with the prerequisites of specific regulations, or laws etc (Messier, 1997). This paper discusses the various steps of an attestation engagement.
There are four steps of an attestation engagement including planning, understanding the assertion, testing, and providing conclusion or opinion on the assertion. During the planning, the auditor develops a general strategy that provides him or her with a reasonable guarantee of detecting unlawful acts, fraud, or non-conformity with the requirements of the agreement of a contract or a grant that may have a substantial effect on the subject matter (Messier, 1997). The auditor is expected to satisfactorily plan the engagement and supervise his assistance properly. Appropriate planning and supervision increase the effectiveness of the attesting procedures. Proper planning has a direct impact on the selection of the proper procedures and suitability of their application. Proper supervision, on the other hand, makes certain that planned procedures are correctly applied (Messier, 1997).
Understanding the scope of the engagement is another step. The auditor must have enough knowledge to help him or her comprehend sufficiently the transactions, events, and practices that significantly affect the assertion. Testing helps the auditor to determine if the subject matter conforms to the set provisions of a contract. Finally, the last step of an attestation engagement is providing conclusion or opinion of the auditor. It is vital for the auditor to acquire enough evidence to enable him offer a reasonable foundation for his conclusion in the report (Messier, 1997). In conclusion, the attestation engagement is a very vital auditing service that every entity needs to enable them to get the opinion of a third party on their dealings.