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What is a clean audit opinion?

If you hear the phrase “clean audit opinion” or “clean opinion”, that means that the company received an unqualified or unmodified audit opinion. A clean audit opinion is great news for the company because that means that the audit team believes the financial statements are reasonably stated (i.e. free from material misstatement).

Additionally, that also means that the audit team did not identify any major issues with the internal control framework (mainly for public companies).


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  • What are the required paragraphs in an unmodified opinion?

    Unmodified opinions are issued for nonissuers (private companies). If the audit team has determined that, after performing all necessary audit procedures, that there are no material departures from the conceptual framework, the audit team may issue an unmodified opinion. Reporting an unmodified opinion would consist of the following paragraphs:

  • What are the required paragraphs in an unqualified opinion?

    Unqualified opinions are issued for issuers (public companies). If the audit team has determined that, after performing all necessary audit procedures, that there are no material departures from the conceptual framework, the audit team may issue an unqualified opinion. Reporting an unqualified opinion would consist of an introductory paragraph, management responsibility paragraph, auditor responsibility paragraph, and the actual opinion paragraph.

  • What is the difference between an unmodified and unqualified audit opinion?

    Issuers (public companies) receive unqualified audit opinions while nonissuers (private companies) would receive unmodified opinions. The requirements for the audit report vary between the two types of audit opinions.