Surety underwriters need adequate, reliable, and uniform financial information,
presented according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Whether the contractor is in Miami or Maui, the surety looks to the acknowledged financial industry expert, the certified public accountant (CPA). The promise made by the CPA regarding a construction company audit, which is set forth by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), is that the audited financial statements of the contractor are maintained in accordance with GAAP and the audit is designed and conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS). What do these representations mean; how are they relied upon by the surety; and what should happen if the promises are untrue?