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Going Concern language

A buddy is CFO for a startup and the auditor has provided going concern language that includes the term "substantive doubt' about its ability to continue as a going concern. I understand that this is standard, especially when they're losing money and relying on VC funds to operate. But is there any wiggle room to possibly modify the verbiage? I look forward to your responses.


Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

Does it matter? Unless the startup got funding (or should I say, runway) for 2 or more years, it will be standard verbiage. It is one of the "pains" a startup (with audited financials) has to endure until the business model (revenue) firms up. Just make sure that the auditor qualifies (or includes) the reason/s. Most knowledgeable readers (those that require the audit/opinion) will understand and see the context. What is important to them/readers (in my opinion) is that you are presenting fairly the financials. The risk (going concern) is already baked into their evaluation.

Paul Shapiro
Title: Startup CFO Consultant
Company: Paul G. Shapiro, CPA
(Startup CFO Consultant, Paul G. Shapiro, CPA) |

Thanks Emerson, you echo my thoughts, I was just curious if there might be different language that could be negotiated

Topic Expert
Barrett Peterson
Title: Senior Manager, Actg Stnds & Analysis
Company: TTX
(Senior Manager, Actg Stnds & Analysis, TTX) |

The language, and the description of the reason for it is standard, and you are unlikely to have it modified. You probably do not want the auditor to be that "flexible", as it might signal a potential other audit weaknesses.


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