This excerpt taken from the EQR 10-K filed Mar 14, 2005.
REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM
To the Board of Trustees and Shareholders
We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Equity Residential (the Company) as of December 31, 2004 and 2003 and the related consolidated statements of operations, changes in shareholders equity and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2004. Our audits also included the financial statement schedule listed in the accompanying index to the financial statements and schedule. These financial statements and schedule are the responsibility of the Companys management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements and schedule based on our audits.
We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement. An audit includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. An audit also includes assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.
In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the consolidated financial position of Equity Residential at December 31, 2004 and 2003, and the consolidated results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2004, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. Also, in our opinion, the related financial statement schedule, when considered in relation to the basic consolidated financial statements taken as a whole, presents fairly in all material respects the information set forth therein.
As discussed in Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements, the Company changed its method of accounting for variable interest entities in 2004 and changed its method of accounting for stock-based compensation in 2003.
We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States), the effectiveness of Equity Residentials internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2004, based on the criteria established in Internal Control Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission and our report dated February 28, 2005 expressed an unqualified opinion thereon.
February 28, 2005