(cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)
There are three different levels of services you could obtain from a certified public accountant. These are referred to as compilation, review, and audit.
Financial statements are presented on the basis of some set of accounting rules. This is referred to as the financial reporting framework.
The vast majority of the time, this would be a large body of knowledge that is called generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP. Imperfect in implementation though it may be, the concept is that similar transactions will be recorded by all organizations in the same way. In addition, financial statements of similar organizations will actually look similar.
If there is some unique reason to do so, the financial statements could be presented on another basis of accounting