Audited financial statements are the financial statements of an organization that have been examined by a certified public accountant (CPA). Audited financials include a signed statement from the auditor, saying that the financial statements present fairly the results, financial position, and cash flows of the issuing entity. Certified financial statements are required by numerous parties - investors, lenders, and stock exchanges - so that users can have confidence that the information in the statements is correct. Most larger organizations and all publicly held companies issue audited financial statements.
The auditor's statement is most valuable if it is unqualified, which means that the issuing entity was in compliance with the applicable accounting framework (such as GAAP or IFRS) in all respects. If the statement is qualified, it means that the auditor took exception to certain aspects of the financial statements, or the underlying information used to construct the statements.