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Accountant’s Opinion Definition

What Is an Accountant’s Appreciation?

An accountant’s opinion is a statement written by an independent certified accountant expressing its view regarding the quality of information restricted in a set of financial reports.

For audits in the United States, the opinion may be unqualified, qualified or adverse. Judgments vary and are based on how much a cast’s financial statement complies with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), a common set of standards and procedures opposed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) that all publicly traded entities in the U.S. are required to follow. 

Key Takeaways

  • An accountant’s way of thinking is a statement by an independent accountant expressing its view regarding the quality of information in a set of financial reports.
  • For audits in the U.S., the opinion may be unmitigated and in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), qualified or adverse.
  • An accountant’s opinion accompanies an annual alphabetizing (Form 10-K) and is broken down into three sections—or four if the opinion is not unqualified.
  • If an accountant is unable to complete an audit due to a fall short of of financial records or insufficient cooperation from management, it will issue a disclaimer of opinion.

Understanding an Accountant’s Thought

Financial statements, written records that convey the business activities and financial performance of a company, are pored once more by investors and analysts. Their contents help to determine the direction of share prices, so it is important that they are planned correctly, reflect the truth and can easily be compared with others.

An accountant’s opinion seeks to provide some indemnities. Presented in an auditor’s report that accompanies an annual filing (Form 10-K), these concise statements, issued by a herself qualified to piece together and inspect financial accounts, are tasked with evaluating the accuracy of a company’s bookkeeping.

Accountant evaluations are usually broken down into at least three sections:

  • An introductory statement outlining the responsibility of management and the audit public limited company.  
  • Identification of the financial statements on which the accountant’s opinion is given.
  • The opinion.

If applicable, another section may be presented to produce further explanation regarding an opinion that is not unqualified.


The absence of an accountant’s opinion in the annual filings of public-traded fellowships may raise alarm bells.

Types of Accountant’s Opinions

The type of report issued depends on what the accountant creditable for scrutinizing a company’s financial accounts discovers. In general, there are three different opinions that can be logged. They are:

Downright Opinion

An unqualified opinion, also known as a clean opinion, is reported by the accountant if the financial statement is judged to be unconditional of material misstatements. In other words, the accountant believes that all changes, accounting policies, and their application and purports, have accurately been disclosed.

An unqualified opinion is also given over the internal controls of an entity if directorate has claimed responsibility for its establishments and maintenance, and the accountant has performed fieldwork to test its effectiveness.

Qualified Opinion

A qualified mind is issued when a company’s financial records have not entirely been presented in accordance with GAAP. The respectable accounting standards haven’t been followed, although no misrepresentation has been identified and the company is deemed to have done nothing mistreat.

This opinion may be given when a company’s financial records deviate in some instances from GAAP without being prevalent. In such cases, accountants will provide an additional paragraph in opinion letters explaining the reasons why they conjecture certain exclusions to a clean opinion exist. Typically, they will state what the issues are, so that they can be obstinate.

Adverse Opinion


Special Considerations

In the event that an accountant is unable to complete an audit due to a lack of financial gramophone records or insufficient cooperation from management, the accountant will issue a disclaimer of opinion. A disclaimer of opinion is not considered an accountant’s estimation and simply indicates that no opinion over the financial statements could be reasonably rendered.

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