Timely, Quality Guidance at a Reasonable Cost 

by Janice L. Gray, CPA, CVA and Ross Roye, CPA 

Gray, Blodgett & Company, PLLC is a full service accounting firm that provides accounting services, payroll services, audits, reviews, compilations, business valuations, litigation support and tax compliance, planning, and estate services. We do approximately 45 audits per year, specializing in financial institutions, HUD, ERISA, Yellow Book, Not-for-Profit and small, closely held businesses. We strive to limit our audit practice to these areas, though we do complete a couple of quasi-government audits each year and just added a single audit.

Throughout her years in practice, our managing partner, Janice Gray, CPA, CVA, has been heavily involved with several different AICPA committees. While serving on the Accounting and Review Services Committee (ARSC), there were many mentions about the Center for Pain English Accounting (CPEA), which provides technical audit and attest guidance for firms who don’t have the support of a national office. Because we limit the scope of our audit practice, we don’t often encounter issues that we don’t know the answer to. However, it does happen. We have a local group that we will often work with for referrals or guidance when we are stuck on an issue, but they don’t always have the answers we need. Last year, our firm ran into a couple of complex issues that we were struggling with, and decided to test out the CPEA to see if it could provide the assistance we needed.

A National Office for Smaller Firms

When first researching the CPEA, we initially looked at the cost of membership. With all we had heard about the center, we considered it very possible the cost would be well out of our price range. However, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the membership fee was much lower than anticipated. As the partners in charge of the audit practice, Janice and Ross Roye, CPA (another partner in the audit practice) decided to join for a trial year to see if the center was a good fit for the firm. The benefits of membership have far outweighed the cost. At this time, we have completed the first year of membership, and have already renewed for another year.

One of the most valuable aspects of CPEA membership is the technical inquiry service, which allows members to receive well researched, written responses to submitted inquiries. We joined the center while we were experiencing a complex issue that we needed guidance on, and used the technical inquiry service as soon as we were able. There was a bit of confusion in the beginning, as we still hadn’t received an answer to our submitted inquiry after two weeks. We reached out to follow up on the matter and received an immediate response from the CPEA. The initial response to our inquiry had gone to junk mail, and had been missed. However, the response in our junk mail was sent within 24 hours of our initial inquiry. We have been extremely happy with this aspect of membership and have since used this service several times, as recently as last week. The answers we receive are always incredibly timely and comprehensive. In fact, on our most recent inquiry, we even received a follow up email after the initial response providing additional information and resources.

Worth the Investment

In addition to the technical inquiry service, the CPEA is providing regular and timely resources to address the constant standard changes that are occurring. The CPEA issues monthly reports that several members of our team receive, read and discuss to identify issues that will affect our clients. In particular, they have issued several reports in an ongoing revenue recognition series that has been especially helpful to us. We generally don’t have the time to dedicate to studying new complex standards, and the CPEA’s in-depth and easy to understand summaries help us get up to speed and stay current on that knowledge.

We made our initial decision to join the CPEA based on the cost of membership. That investment has already been far surpassed by the value we have received. The CPEA offers timely, high quality information through their reports, webcasts and written responses. Though we joined the CPEA on a trial basis, continuing our membership was the obvious choice. 

Gray, Blodgett & Company, PLLC is a medium firm based in Norman, OK. Janice L. Gray, CPA, CVA, is Managing Partner and the senior accounting and auditing Partner. Ross Roye, CPA, is an audit partner.


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