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The Essential Third Party Verification Toolkit

Responding to Comfort Requests Without Putting Your Practice at Risk

How often do you receive requests from your client’s bank or other third party asking you to provide oral or written comfort on a specific matter? For example you may be asked to: 

  • Confirm whether a client is self-employed or verify the client’s self-employment income

  • Authenticate a client’s business ownership percentage

  • Corroborate profitability of the client’s business

  • Certify the impact on a client’s business if money is withdrawn to fund the down payment on a real estate purchase


Toolkit format is a 200+ page downloadable Microsoft Word document



CPAs are increasingly receiving such requests from third parties to provide some form of comfort on a wide variety of client-related matters, including loans, insurance coverage, sales-use tax, compliance with terms of agreements, and more. You may feel pressure to respond, but did you know that doing so may actually put your practice at risk? Even attempting to provide a “non-answer” to a request could result in liability if not properly worded. So what is a CPA to do?

Surgent developed this new “Essential Third Party Verification Toolkit” to help CPAs address these often tricky circumstances. The practice aids contained within this downloadable resource will help you determine which statements of fact to third parties are allowable, and when an alternative approach might need to be suggested, so that you can make more informed decisions about the nature and scope of certain services you provide to clients.

This toolkit specifically addresses these services:

  • Allowable letters of verification or other forms of comfort to third parties that are nonattest in nature (i.e., no report, conclusion, opinion, or assurance is provided)

  • Examination, review, or agreed-upon procedures on a subject matter or written assertion thereto about the subject matter’s conformity with specified criteria (e.g., fair value of assets on a certain date, cash on hand, equity accounts, etc.)

  • Examination, compilation, or agreed-upon procedures on prospective financial information (e.g., sales forecasts or cash flow projections)

  • Examination or agreed-upon procedures related to compliance with specified requirements (e.g., compliance with loan covenants when a financial statement audit is not also engaged)

  • Examination, review, or compilation of pro forma financial information (i.e., how historical financial information would have looked had a specific transaction or event occurred at an earlier date)

The following items are included in the toolkit:

  • Common third party requests for comfort and suggested allowable responses to those requests

  • Illustrative letter that should accompany any tax return information provided to third parties

  • Illustrative engagement letters, representation letters, procedures checklists and reports for all attest services covered within the scope of this toolkit

  • Guidance related to preparing and reporting on personal financial statements

  • Guidance related to the preparation and fair presentation of prospective financial statements (e.g., forecasts and projections)

Product Format/Delivery:

The toolkit is delivered electronically in a Microsoft Word file. After your order has been placed, you will receive the toolkit as an email attachment within one business day.

Refund Policy:

Please note that refunds are not available for this product.

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