The different types of audit opinions 

By Brian Ravencraft

If your agribusiness or farming business ever goes through the audit process, you will have a chance to read the auditor’s report and their opinion. This is certainly unfamiliar territory for most folks. Let me walk you through the four different types of opinions that an auditor can conclude at the end of an audit. 

Unqualified: This type of opinion is often referred as a “clean” opinion. This is the most desired and most common opinion as it states that the entities financial statements are fairly presented and free of material misstatements.

 Qualified: This type of opinion is usually given when the auditor finds material misstatements in the entity’s financial statements. Even though the financial statements contained material misstatements those misstatements do not mis-lead the reader of the statements.

Adverse: This type of opinion is given if material misstatements are found, and those misstatements may mis-lead the reader of the statements.

Disclaimer: Lastly, the least desired opinion, is given if the auditor is not able to obtain enough information to form an opinion on whether the financial statements are presented fairly and appropriately. Basically, the auditor couldn’t finish the audit and they fear the financial statements could have un-known misstatements that could be material and mis-lead the reader. 

This was just a quick summary of audit opinions. If you have questions about the audit process, or if I can be of help, please don’t hesitate to reach out. 

Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA is a Principal with Holbrook & Manter, CPAs. Brian has been with Holbrook & Manter since 1995, primarily focusing on the areas of Tax Consulting and Management Advisory Services within several firm service areas, focusing on agri-business and closely held businesses and their owners. Holbrook & Manter is a professional services firm founded in 1919 and we are unique in that we offer the resources of a large firm without compromising the focused and responsive personal attention that each client deserves. You can reach Brian through or

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