Given the misconception that the use of the phrase “highest COA audit rating” may cause and its potential impact to decision makers and the public, the Commission on Audit (COA) would like to clarify again that an audit opinion should not be viewed as a rating, score or grade, with ranking of lowest to highest.
An audit opinion pertains only to the financial audit conducted regularly by COA auditors on the agencies within its jurisdiction. It may be unmodified or modified, depending on whether an agency’s financial statements are prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework.
An unmodified opinion (also referred to as unqualified opinion) is issued when the auditor concludes that the financial statements are prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework. Meanwhile, a modified opinion – includes qualified, adverse and disclaimer of opinion - is issued when the auditor concludes that, based on the audit evidence obtained, the financial statements as a whole are not free from material misstatement; or is unable to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to conclude that the financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement.