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Accounting and Auditing Research and Databases: Practitioner's Desk Reference by Thomas C. Pearson, Natalie Tatiana Churyk, Thomas R. Weirich

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Consulting Services and Standards

Attestation and audit services are considered special types of assurance services. Consulting services do not fall under the umbrella of assurance services. Historically, consulting services offered to clients (two-party contracts) by CPAs were referred to as management consulting services or management advisory services. These services have generally evolved from accounting-related matters in connection with audits or tax engagements. In a consulting engagement, the CPA develops findings and conclusions, which are followed with recommendations for the benefit of the client. This is in contrast to an attest engagement (a three-party contract) whereby the CPA reports on the reliability of a written assertion that is the responsibility of a third party. Examples of consulting engagements include litigation support services, computer installation engagements, and various market studies for clients.

The typical consulting engagement is quite similar to the research process presented in this text. The consulting engagement would normally include

  • Determination of the client's objectives.
  • Fact finding.
  • Definition of the problem.
  • Evaluation of the alternatives.
  • Formulation of a proposed action.
  • Communication of the results.
  • Implementation and follow-up.1

Professional standards for consulting services include general standards and specific consulting standards. In rendering professional services (including consulting), general standards of the profession ...

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