Agreed-upon procedures

    • Compliance with regulatory requirements
    • Due diligence in mergers and acquisitions
    • Evaluation of internal controls
    • Specific areas of concern
    • Independent verification
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Different types of assurance services and audits are available for business purposes. 

For example- an audit is a type of legal service that offers formal or professional opinions about the financial situation of a business or company. 

In addition; consulting services are those services that offer technical assistance and advice to businesses as well as companies that are only available for internal purposes of the company.

Third parties or lenders can't find this assistance. In other words; these consultations and conclusions can't be presented as recommendations to anyone other than the internal body of a business. 

This is where AUP or agreed-upon procedures come into play. Agreed-upon procedures are legal consultations or advice that come between both consulting Services and audits

That is why ESPECIA is here to clear the air between audits as well as agreed-upon procedures so that you have the perfect image of AUPs. 

Agreed-upon procedures

Agreed-upon procedures are those that are taken or conducted by a qualified accountant. 

They discuss a set of procedures and rules with the user or order of a business as per requirements. 

The test and procedures mentioned in the report should be well explained and discussed in advance so that no problem occurs when the facts are collected at the end of the test. 

The results are based on the collected facts that might be useful to the owner of the user. 

In these reviews as well as reports, no conclusion or advice is mentioned because these procedures do not take place in a technical sense. 

The parties or Accountants that are responsible for conducting agreed-upon procedures take the test objectively which province the third parties or engage in parties to act themselves. 

The engaging parties in this procedure are qualified enough to focus on the area or financial matters that require more attention. 

Responsible for finding as well as interpreting the results themselves. Agreed-upon procedures also act as a strong tool to find evidence that was impossible to have. 

For example, employees can ask an accountant or practitioner about this procedure, but they can't offer their conclusion; instead, they can show the facts. Giving conclusions or advice can cause misunderstanding among clients as well as third parties; that is why they are not recommended. 

In addition, practitioners or accountants can have effective documentation and control procedures. 

Although Accountants cannot give their conclusion or advice, it can also cause problems. This is because the interpreters or employees can make their own conclusions.

Considerations during agreed-upon procedures (AUP)

  • During agreed-upon procedures on historical financial situations, information practitioners or Accountants should comply with ISRS 4400. In addition, ISRS 4400 also mentions the guidelines based on non-financial information or situations.
  • ISRS 4400 also has to fulfil requirements mentioned by the code of ethics, which includes professional responsibilities for the procedures. These responsibilities include integrity, due care, objectivity, technical standards, professional behaviour, and confidentiality. 
  • Independence as the requirement of professional responsibilities for agreed-upon procedures is not required. 
  • As per the requirements of business owners and clients or users, the practitioners or Accountants must use agreed-upon procedures with required necessities other than those mentioned in ISRS 4400; this is because it mentions a clear set of rules as well as regulations that practitioners must follow.
  • The users or business owners that rely on agreed-upon procedures must take full responsibility for the final outcome and reports as well as the facts mentioned in them.
  • The limitation on the distribution, as well as the use of the report, must be made prior to the start of procedures.
  • The timing and nature of procedures should also be provided. In addition, the extent of procedures that are included and took place during the whole process should also be provided.
  • The purpose of agreed-upon procedures or engagement should also be provided. 

Uses of agreed-upon procedures (AUP)

For a business entity or company that has no requirement of external audits to get a formal and professional assurance, agreed-upon procedures are one of the best as well as effective options. 

This is because a business owner or interacting parties can define the set of processes to be included, which limits the cost. 

It can be used to obtain both financial and non-financial risks. Agreed-upon procedures are finished with formal views and factual descriptions rather than having an opinion or conclusion. 

Here are a few examples of agreed-upon procedures where they are needed and used.

  • Agreed-upon procedures are used to check on stock matters. It is used to detect the existence of fraud and errors. Various tests that are included during this procedure include three-way matching, counting of samples, controlling tests, and others. The results include observations that are made on the condition as well as the age of the stock. Control recommendations are also made.
  • Agreed upon procedures in case of fixed assets. It is also used to detect the existence of errors as well as fraud. The various procedures and tests in this step include the utilization of previous assets and the physical existence of certain assets, including their serial numbers. Control recommendations are also included in the reports of agreed-upon procedures. It also includes consideration of existing lease terms.
  • Agreed-upon procedures are also used in determining payroll. In this case, agreed-upon procedures are used to check more than just fraud and errors. It is also used to determine completeness as well as accuracy. In addition, it is also used to determine how payrolls are compliant with regulations and laws. A few tests and processes included in this procedure include checking calculations, checking evidence of various employee payrolls and existence, checking time sheets and contacts, etc. The reports of this procedure include unusual instances in time sheets and various control recommendations.
  • Third parties also use agreed-upon procedures in providing them assistance and comfort. It is also used in the regulation and requirements of contracts in a business or company. When a third party insists and interacts with agreed-upon procedures, practitioners or Accountants often sense a high risk. In this case, practitioners also consider terms as well as regulations when third parties are included.
  • Agreed upon procedures, I also used in critical conditions such as license contracts. It is used to determine errors and royalties payable. The processes and tests that are included in this procedure include mathematical or arithmetical preciseness of royalty calculations and accuracy, as well as the completeness of sales that might be mentioned or recorded in a license.
  • Agreed-upon procedures are also used in grant terms. They are used to determine grant returns. The processes or tests included in this procedure are the accuracies of arithmetical calculations, cross-checking of documents included in payroll, watching costs that are supporting documentation, and others. 

Benefits Of Agreed-Upon Procedures

  • Agreed-upon procedures can be used for various financial situations as well as non-financial situations. For example, suppose a third party decides to enter a business. In that case, agreed-upon procedures can be used to find out certain errors or financial information about the business or other entities. In this case, an agreed-upon procedure can be used to find certain information such as accounts, Income Tax revisions, reviewing the portfolios, verifying accounts payable or accounts receivable, etc.
  • Agreed-upon procedures can also benefit business entities as well as companies because they do not come up with any predetermined conclusions and opinions. In addition, the reports and results of agreed-upon procedures are only used to determine factual data such as errors and problems only. The management and interacting parties are responsible for informing conclusions and coming up with solutions for the problems themselves. By obtaining reports based on agreed-upon procedures, the business entity can make sure the results are not biased. In Addition, the results will only have the information which you are asking for. It also leaves no room for misunderstanding between employees and employers. 
  • There are different types of situations in a business under which agreed-upon procedures might be necessary. Some of these situations can include M&A due diligence, when an employee in a company is suspected by the owner of the business of Missprinting or misrepresenting financial data, to inspect compliance with specific requirements of regulations, including Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), etc. In addition, agreed-upon procedures can also be implemented by franchisors as well as lenders that want to check the financial situations of a company, internal cost, and turnaround plans.


The engagement of agreed-upon procedures might be similar to the procedures of audits but only on a certain limit. 

Agreed-upon procedures are used to find specific business problems or errors that need immediate fixing. 

When a CPA performs agreed-upon procedures, they don't offer consultations or advice. Instead, only actors find certain problems or errors. 

The report, which is made based on agreed-upon procedures, is simple and includes only two main things. 

These things include findings of CPA as well as procedures that are used in the process. 

The user of the business or the services is responsible for taking action based on the conclusions or the problems highlighted in this process. 

Some financial data about the business can be highlighted in this process which includes specific financial data, accounts payable, accounts receivable, related party transactions, nonfinancial information review of internal controls, compliance with royalty agreements, a specific financial statement, income statement, balance sheet, and other financial statements. 

There are many advantages of agreed-upon procedures. These procedures can take place at any part of the Year. 

In addition, this can also be implied by third parties. The engagement of agreed-upon procedures is cost-effective. 

This is because the user itself can choose the types of procedures that should be included in the process. 

Why Especia For Agreed-upon procedures

The services of Especia are all about transparency and guiding its clients towards better financial and accounting decision-making. 

We help business companies and our clients in ways that concern financial departments and such operations. 

AUP stands for agreed-upon procedures. These procedures are the processes as well as tests that are similar to audits but only to a certain extent. Agreed-upon procedures are used to detect certain problems or errors like fraud in business that might require immediate attention and solution. When agreed-upon procedures occur, no professional opinion or conclusions are made. Instead, the practitioner or accountant acts as a factual finder, and facts are mentioned in the reports.

Agreed-upon procedures are certain procedures or outlines that are included in a company or business entity. Third parties, such as professional accountants or practitioners, are hired to perform certain procedures and tests in order to detect problems or errors. The processes, also known as audit standards, are determined by parties that are included or interactive in the procedures.

No. Agreed-upon procedures might be similar to an assurance engagement, but they are not exactly the same. There might be similar processes or procedures performed during these two different processes. The aim of agreed-upon procedures is 'not' to have enough evidence to come up with a conclusion or opinion.

Certain professional auditors, practitioners, or accountants perform agreed-upon procedures. The processes under agreed-upon procedures are used to analyze certain financial data, including purchases, sales, payroll, accounts, and other segments of a professional entity. In addition, it can also include financial statements.

During the agreed-upon procedures, an accountant performs certain tests and processes to detect factual data concerning non-financial and financial matters. Accountants make the reports for agreed-upon procedures, which do not include any opinion or conclusion. Rather they include findings such as errors or facts based on the test taking place.

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