Accounting and Tax Blog

SubTitle:  Accountant Anxiety 


Last Updated: June 25, 2015




A History of SSARS 8 Type Engagements


SSARS 1 (1978) Members of the AICPA were not allowed to generate or modify client financial statements without issuing a compilation report.  Before SSARS 1, these statements were called “unaudited” and needed no report.


SSARS 8 (effective in 2001) introduced the “management use only” type of compilation engagement.  An engagement letter was required (they weren't required for other compilations) and the financial statements were required to be marked on each page “for management use only” or something similar to that.  No compilation report was needed.  These were commonly referred to as SSARS 8 engagements.  SSARS 8 engagements were not normally selected for peer review.


SSARS 19 (effective for periods ending on or after Dec. 15, 2010) didn’t really change the SSARS 8 engagement but added the requirement that all compilations must have engagement letters, not just SSARS 8 type engagements. 


SSARS 21 (effective for periods ending on or after December 15, 2015, early implementation is permitted) makes a significant change to the old SSARS 8 engagement, which is now called a “preparation” engagement rather than a compilation.  The standards have changed in the following ways: 



You might think that these modestly regulated preparation engagements would allow you to provide financial statements straight from QuickBooks, (like the old “unaudited” statements before SSARS 1), but you would be wrong.  Leave it to the standard setters to set plenty of standards. Here's a summary: