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Telephone And Data Systems, Inc. Financial Essay

2314 words - 9 pages

Telephone and Data Systems, Inc., (TDS) is a is a telecommunications company that provides wireless, telephone and broadband services to more than 6 million customers in 36 states through its business units U.S. Cellular and TDS Telecom. The annual report of TDS contains detailed financial and business information required by law. The annual report of a company provides very important details of how the company is operating. One important section of the report is the reports of the independent accounting firms.The purpose of the accountant's reports is to express an opinion about the financial statements. Reliable financial information is an essential element in making business decisions. Financial statements are relied upon by vendors in granting trade credit, bankers in approving loans, and investors in deciding whether to invest in debt or equity of the company (Understanding Auditor Report).The independent auditor expresses an opinion as to whether proper accounting principles have been applied by management. This opinion is the result of applying standard auditing procedures deemed applicable under the particular circumstances. The accountant's report is an opinion and not a certification. It is meant to indicate to the financial statement users that the auditor is providing reasonable assurance and not complete assurance, as to whether or not the financial statements have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and present fairly the results of operations for the period indicated (Abrema).If the auditor is satisfied that the financial statements fairly present the financial position, the auditor issues an unqualified audit opinion. An unqualified audit opinion does not have any restricting or limiting circumstances (Abrema). If the auditor is not satisfied that the financial statements fairly present the financial position and results of the entity or that they are not consistent with the auditor's knowledge of the business, the auditor issues a qualified opinion. A qualified audit opinion is an opinion that identifies a restriction or limitation to the auditor's opinion (Abrema).TDS did not receive an unqualified opinion because the auditor's identified material weaknesses. A material weakness is when one or more of a company's internal control is considered to be ineffective. "A material weakness is a control deficiency that results in a more than remote likelihood that a misstatement of the financial statements will not be prevented" (Annual Report).The accountants identified four material weaknesses in the company's financial statements. As stated in the annual report, "the Company did not have personnel with an appropriate level of accounting knowledge, training and experience. Second, the Company did not maintain effective controls over it's accounting for certain vender contracts. Third, the Company did not maintain effective controls over the completeness, accuracy, presentation and disclosure of...

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