Accountant’s Compilation Report

The links at the top right of this page point to both last year and this year’s financial statements, as provided by building management. Since most of us do not speak ‘accountant’, we have translated excerpts from the 2010 accountant’s compilation report below into layman’s English. The 2011 accountant’s compilation report is almost identical to the 2010 report, though written with slightly different language:

“We have not audited or reviewed the accompanying financial statements and, accordingly, do not express an opinion or any other form of assurance on them.”

Translation: we take no responsibility for the numbers in this report, or stand by their truthfulness in any way.

“Management has elected to omit the statement of cash flows and substantially all of the disclosures required by generally accepted accounting principles. If the omitted statement and disclosures were included in the financial statements, they might influence the users’ conclusions about the Company’s financial position, results of operations and cash flows.”

Translation: although we have generated income statements, cash flow statements and footnotes, we have been asked by management to not show them to you. Although this goes against the United States generally accepted accounting principles, we want you to know that we are just doing what we are told, so you can’t take us to court for misleading you. The omitted documents are needed to get an accurate impression of the building’s finances, and the subset of supplied documents will surely mislead the reader about the financial health of the building and how it is being run.

(As an aside, cash flow statements provide the sources of cash received (assessments, fines, rent from the janitors apartment, rent from parking spots of vacant units that the association rents out etc.) and the payments made by the management during the year (including actual salaries, fees, tips etc.) Footnotes provide detailed disclosures including accounting methods, income tax paid, and pending or threatened litigation and other contingencies etc.)

“Accordingly, these financial statements are not designed for those who are not informed about such matters.”

Translation: the financial statements provided below are useless without the omitted documents, and will give you an inaccurate impression of the building’s finances. Thus, the following document will only be useful for those people who have access to the omitted documents: Mrs. Sigrid Ingold (the president of the board/building manager), Mr. Ellis Levin (the association lawyer) & Mr. Walter Tatera (the treasurer).

On a side note, Mr. Tetera‘s apparent lack of financial knowledge and sign-off on all financial matters with absolutely no actual scrutiny makes him an ideal scapegoat for Mrs. Ingold and Mr. Levin if building finances do come under question. (After all, as the condo board treasurer he is responsible for all financial matters pertaining to the condo, especially those he has signed off on.)

Please notice that a reference to the compilation report is made at the bottom of every page of both financial statements. This is because Computer Accounting & Tax Service Inc want to cover their butts and they do not want to be held liable for any of the numbers.

For the adventurous/masochistic among you, try requesting the withheld documents from building management. Owners have a right under Section 19 of the Condominium Act to inspect and copy the financial books and records of the association. If you do make such an attempt, please share your experience by leaving a comment!

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2 Responses to Accountant’s Compilation Report

  1. Gwen says:

    You… don’t seem to get that this is a standard compilation report. Compilations don’t provide any assurance because they aren’t intended to. A compilation is where the accountant looks at the statements for anything blatantly wrong. No analytical procedures, no audit, just a quick look-over and perhaps some inquiries. When it says ‘accordingly…’ what it means is, the report is supposed to be limited distribution BECAUSE its misleading without full context, and thus you are not supposed to see it at all. I’d let the accountant know because they can contact their attorney for the distribution of this report. Management apparently doesn’t know its responsibility with respect to this.

    • 5901tbn says:

      Hi Gwen. It might be edifying for you to read the following link:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auditor%27s_report

      This certainly is a standard report, and the opinion is one of three possible standard opinions. However, the same individual (our accountant) who puts together all our monthly financial statements is rendering the opinion, and in his “standard jargon”, is saying that the documents proffered into this compilation for unit owners is not useful for anyone reading it unless accompanied by missing documents that he has provided to building management, but management has elected not to share as part of the compiled report. Your “standard language” argument is extremely misleading. Just because it is standard does not mean it is right to mislead unit owners about the financial health of their home – this report is the only financial document building management allows unit owners to see. Please read Section 19 of the Illinois Condo Act – all unit owners have the right to view all financial documents regarding the condo.

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