Understanding Audit Reports: What Is a Qualified Opinion?

An audit report is key to the decision-making process of the company as it gives a true and fair view of its financial performance and position by an external auditor. Auditing of financial statements is gaining more relevance in the UAE, especially after the introduction of corporate tax. A year-end audit provides the shareholders with confidence over the accuracy of management accounts and reveals systematic errors apart from helping you meet regulatory compliance requirements.

However, if the auditors in Dubai provide you with a qualified opinion in the audit report, you need to understand what it means. In this blog, we will discuss more of the qualified opinion given by audit firms in Dubai in their audit reports. Read on to gain further insights:

What does it mean when auditors give a qualified opinion?

At the end of an audit, the auditors in Dubai may provide different types of audit reports such as an Unqualified (clean report) Opinion, Adverse Opinion, Qualified Opinion and Disclaimer of Opinion. By issuing a qualified opinion, auditors declare that there is an area of uncertainty in a company’s financial statements. However, except for the specific uncertainty, the financial statements generally represent the company’s performance.

When does an auditor give a qualified opinion?

A qualified opinion suggests that the financial information disclosed by the company is limited in scope or there is a material issue related to the application of the accepted accounting standards. Audit firms in Dubai may issue a qualified opinion when the effects of a misstatement in the financial statements are material, but not pervasive. It means the issue that caused the issuance of a qualified opinion is confined to a specific area of the financial statements but does not affect the rest of the accounts.

Why does a qualified opinion matter?

Most companies may find it hard to interpret a qualified opinion compared to other types of audit reports. An unqualified opinion is ideal, and an adverse opinion is a big red flag. However, a qualified opinion is between these two extremes. The management needs to decide how this opinion will impact their decision-making process. Business owners can ask the following questions if the auditors in Dubai issue a qualified opinion:

  1. Does the reason for the qualified opinion affect comparisons with peer companies? It can be a problem if you cannot rely on the numbers that you normally use to compare with other companies in the same industry.
  2. Does it affect the reliability of the company’s reporting as a whole? Even though a qualified opinion states the financial statements are reliable except for a specific issue, a material departure from accepted reporting standards indicates a larger issue with the quality of reporting.
  3. What actions must be taken on a qualified opinion? Ideally, companies take action to prevent the issue going forward. Management can hire external consultants to look into the matter or implement better internal controls.
  4. Is the reason for the qualified opinion a one-off issue? It is not an issue if the qualified opinion stemmed from a single transaction. However, it could be an issue if the basis of qualified opinion stemmed from ongoing business practices.

Is the qualified opinion desirable?

A qualified opinion does not indicate your company is not performing or the financial statements are completely unreliable. Investors and lenders always feel comfortable with unqualified opinions. A qualified opinion is less desirable as it shows the financial statements are not as reliable as they should be. However, adverse opinions and disclaimers of opinion are more negative compared to a qualified opinion.

Hire the Best Audit Firms in Dubai for your Annual Audit

Audit firms in Dubai may issue different types of audit reports depending on the financial statements of the companies. Auditors in Dubai may issue a Qualified Audit Opinion when there is uncertainty in a specific area in the financial statements. To get accurate audit reports, you need to hire the best audit firms in Dubai such as Jitendra Chartered Accountants (JCA). JCA has been providing bespoke audit services in Dubai for more than 21 years.

We are one of the leading CA firms in Dubai dedicated to adding value to your business by conducting meaningful audits. JCA has audit experience in a wide range of industries such as manufacturing, logistics, retail, e-commerce, e-gaming, and other key sectors. Businesses can also seek our assistance to navigate compliance issues related to VAT, Economic Substance Regulation (ESR), Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO) and Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting Financing of Terrorism (AML-CFT). Our auditing services in Dubai will enable your company to build a good reputation among the banks, the government, free zone authorities, shareholders, and potential investors.