The CPA profession is highly regarded for its commitment to excellence and protecting the public. In the face of increased business complexity, we must strive to continue providing quality services. As a result, the AICPA launched the Enhancing Audit Quality initiative in May 2014. EAQ is a holistic effort to consider auditing of private entities through multiple touch points, especially where quality issues have emerged. The goal is to align the objectives of all audit-related AICPA efforts to improve audit performance.

    EAQ Discussion Paper and Resources 

    The AICPA launched the EAQ Discussion Paper on August 7, 2014.

    EAQ is based on a two-phased approach. Phase 1 involves planned and proposed efforts that will begin to improve quality in the near term. Phase 2 centers around the transformation of the current peer review process.

    For more information, watch an archive of the free EAQ Webcast or read a blog from AICPA SVP Susan Coffey.

    The AICPA has developed a free e-version of the Practice Aid Establishing and Maintaining a System of Quality Control for a CPA Firm’s Accounting and Auditing Practice.  See the Practice Aid's page.

    Peer Review Areas of Focus 

    One tool being used to improve the consistency of quality across the profession is increased focus by firms and peer reviewers on new industries, industries with new or rising risks, audit areas of increased risk or areas with increased inspection matters in the past.

    The AICPA Peer Review Board (PRB) approved the below areas of focus:

    • Independence as it relates to non-attest services provided to attest clients
    • Sufficiency of audit evidence - risk assessment, internal controls, and sampling 
    • Employee benefit plans, including both ERISA and government pensions
    • Municipal security issuers
    • Single audit
    • Crowdfunding 

    Read more about the emerging industries and risk areas identified to date and find resources for each.


    AICPA Chairman, Bill Balhoff, discusses our continuing commitment to quality and protecting the public interest. Near- and long-term enhancing audit quality initiatives are explained here.

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