Qualified opinion

A qualified opinion is a written statement by a certified public accountant in an audit report, stating that the financial statements of a client are fairly presented, except for a specified issue. The issue typically relates to a limitation on the scope of the audit, so that the auditor was unable to obtain sufficient evidence to verify various aspects of the transactions and reports being audited. Qualified opinions may also be issued if there is a lack of conformity with GAAP, inadequate disclosure, uncertainties in estimates, or the statement of cash flows has been omitted.

In essence, an organization that is being audited tries to avoid a qualified opinion, since it casts doubt on the financial statements of the entity.

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