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Generally Accepted Auditing Standards: Definition, GAAS vs. GAAP

File Photo: Generally Accepted Auditing Standards: Definition, GAAS vs. GAAP
File Photo: Generally Accepted Auditing Standards: Definition, GAAS vs. GAAP File Photo: Generally Accepted Auditing Standards: Definition, GAAS vs. GAAP

What are the generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS)?

Auditors follow generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS) while auditing firms’ financial records. GAAS ensures auditors’ activities and reports are accurate, consistent, and verifiable. The AICPA’s Auditing Standards Board (ASB) developed GAAS. Members agree to follow standards.

Knowing GAAS

GAAS auditing standards monitor and assure audit quality. According to GAAP, auditors evaluate and report on company financial records.

Auditors assess public company financial statements for compliance with broadly accepted accounting standards (GAAP). GAAP is a collection of accounting principles that public corporations must follow for proper financial reporting.

Auditors verify a company’s financial records and accounting methods for consistency and GAAP compliance. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) mandates independent auditors to review public company financial accounts.

GAAP sets accounting rules for accountants, whereas GAAS sets auditing requirements for auditors.

GAAS requirements

GAAS consists of 10 standards, grouped into three sections:

A General Standard

  • The auditor needs technical expertise to execute the audit.
  • The auditor must be mentally independent on all audit topics.
  • An auditor must take professional care in auditing and preparing the report.

Field Work Standards

  • Auditors must plan and oversee helpers.
  • The auditor must comprehend the company and its environment, including internal control, to assess the risk of substantial misrepresentation of the financial statements due to mistake or fraud and to plan the kind, timing, and extent of future audit processes.
  • The auditor must execute audit procedures to collect adequate evidence to establish a reasonable conclusion on the financial statements under audit.

Reporting Standards

  • The auditor must report if the financial statements follow GAAP.
  • In the auditor’s report, the auditor must highlight differences in such principles between the present and previous periods.
  • The auditor’s report must specify if informative disclosures in the financial statements are not reasonably appropriate.
  • The auditor’s report must either offer an opinion on the financial accounts or say it cannot. The auditor’s report should explain why the auditor cannot give an overall view. When an auditor’s name is connected with financial statements, the auditor’s report should clearly explain the auditor’s work and level of responsibility.


Generally Accepted Auditing Standards

GAAS is the auditing standard auditors use to generate a credible and transparent audit report, while GAAP is the accounting standard organizations use to record and report financial activities and events.

Auditors evaluate GAAP-using firms’ financial records and provide audit reports using GAAS.

The AICPA established GAAS auditing standards.


The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued the accounting principles outlined in GAAP.

GAAP promotes financial openness, uniformity, and fraud-free firm reports.

GAAP assures investors and creditors of accounting reliability. It simplifies company financial analysis and comparisons.

What are the 3 GAAS types?

General Field Work and Reporting Standards comprise widely recognized auditing standards.

What Is Auditing GAAP?

GAAP means commonly accepted accounting principles. These are the accounting standards and guidelines organizations use to disclose their finances. Auditors verify the financials and report any discrepancies.

Must auditors follow GAAS?

Auditors must follow GAAS if they are members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (whose Accounting Standard Board publishes GAAS).

What If an Auditor Ignores GAAS?

A firm may sue an auditor for negligence if they violate GAAS.

The Verdict

Generally agreed auditing standards lead auditors’ financial record reviews and reports. These criteria emphasize auditor conduct and are crucial.

GAAP covers accounting principles. They differ from GAAS. Auditors check corporate financial records for GAAP compliance.


  • Auditors follow GAAS while analyzing a company’s financial records.
  • GAAS ensures auditors’ activities and reports are accurate, consistent, and verifiable.
  • The three parts, General Standards, Fieldwork Standards, and Reporting Standards, describe generally recognized auditing standards.
  • Company accountants record and report financial operations using GAAP.
  • Generally Accepted Auditing Standards audit financial accounting, while GAAP accounts for it.

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