Inappropriate forms of communication under CSRS 4200 compilation engagements

Published: 05/04/2023

There still remains some confusion among practitioners as it relates to the appropriate purpose and application of the Canadian Standard on Related Services (CSRS) 4200 Compilation Engagements. Some areas include the lack of clarity around the intended use of the compiled financial information as well as the basis of accounting. Find out more on how to address these challenges in The New Compilation Engagements Standard – How are you managing? ( as well as Important Notice Regarding Compilation Engagements (

This article will explore additional specific topics that practitioners should carefully consider.

Uncertainty around what services actually fall under the scope of compilation engagements

CSRS 4200 prescribes the following limited circumstances when the standard is not applicable: (Ref: Para 2)

  1. A practitioner acting in the capacity of trustee in bankruptcy, receiver or liquidator;
  2. A practitioner contracted to act as a member of the entity's finance department with controllership responsibilities;
  3. A practitioner engaged to perform a bookkeeping service; or
  4. A practitioner preparing financial information:
    1. Presented solely in government-prescribed tax forms such as corporate, trust or personal income tax returns;
    2. That will be subject to an audit engagement or a review engagement performed by another practitioner; or
    3. As part of another service performed by the practitioner.

Should a practitioner decide, or be requested, to issue a communication on financial information as described per above, then the only appropriate form of communication is a compilation engagement report and all the requirements of CSRS 4200 apply (Ref: Par 3).

Inappropriate forms of communication that are attached or referenced to the compiled financial information

Practitioners should ensure that they avoid any misleading communication when performing a compilation engagement under CSRS 4200. There may be circumstances when CSRS 4200 does not apply but the practitioner decides to include a communication on the financial information. Examples of what could be considered forms of communication include disclaimers, accounting notes, or comments on the financial information. Practitioners should be reminded that by including or referencing such communication, CSRS 4200 paragraph 3 will trigger and scope the work back into CSRS 4200, which means that the entirety of the standard applies to the work being performed. In accordance with CSRS 4200, the only form of communication that can be attached to the financial information is a compilation engagement report.

The inclusion of additional communication to the financial information not only scopes the work into CSRS 4200, but it creates confusion to readers as it may suggest that the practitioner has gone beyond the limited scope of CSRS 4200. The implications of this can be significant.

Printing the compiled financial information

Firm information or branding should only be on the compilation report. The reason being is that the compiled financial information is from management, whereas the compilation report is from the practitioner. For this reason, the only page with practitioner information or branding should be the compilation report. Find out more in this article:

Other Resources

KBASE COLLECTION – CSRS 4200 contains a list of resources that will assist practitioners in applying this standard.

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