PRIMA FAQs for Enrolled Firms & Peer Reviewers 

Published May 04, 2017


  1. General

  2. PRIMA Timeline

  3. Communications

  4. PRIMA Go-Live Preparation

  5. Training & User Instructions

  6. Noticeable Changes in PRIMA

  7. Support


General

What is PRIMA?
PRIMA is the Peer Review Integrated Management Application, the new web-based tool that will replace PRISM, the existing platform used by Administering Entities, reviewers and firms to manage the peer review process.

Why are you replacing the Peer Review Information System Manager (PRISM) system?
The PRISM system no longer meets the technological or operational needs of the AICPA Peer Review Program, nor is it sufficiently adaptable to respond to our changing needs.

What is the expected benefit for replacing PRISM?
We are implementing PRIMA as it will allow us to change and adapt faster to the needs of practice monitoring and our users. PRIMA will bring new and improved features and more opportunities for firm self-service. In addition, PRIMA will be easy to use with a robust knowledge base available for all users.

Who will use PRIMA?
PRIMA users include Peer Reviewers, Enrolled Firms (firms enrolled in the AICPA Peer Review Program and the state society programs), Peer Review Administrators, Technical Reviewers and State Boards of Accountancy (to access Facilitated State Board Access), and AICPA Peer Review Program staff.

Will all firms be required to log in to participate in peer review?
Managing Partner or Peer Review Contacts will be required to access PRIMA to submit their Peer Review Information, submit their Scheduling information, and to respond to Matters for Further Consideration (MFC) or Findings for Further Consideration (FFC) forms.

Do I need to register to use PRIMA?
If you have an existing AICPA.org or CPA.com username and password, you will have access to PRIMA at go-live. Firms enrolled in the state society programs will receive an email or letter closer to go live with information on how to register an account. PRIMA access requires a valid email address on file.

Why is an email address required to use PRIMA?
All firms will be required to use PRIMA for a portion of the peer review process. Access to PRIMA is provided through AICPA.org which requires email addresses to be used as your username in PRIMA. Because email addresses are required for all users and email is the most preferred method of communication throughout the 30,000+ firms enrolled in the AICPA Peer Review Program and the various state society programs; all peer review communications will be sent from PRIMA by email.

Will I be able to continue to submit paper forms to schedule my review?
Over time, the Enrollment and Information Required for Scheduling Peer Reviews (background) forms has continued to grow and adapt as the needs of the program have changed. With the launch of PRIMA, we will discontinue the use of these paper forms to allow us greater flexibility to customize and better adapt the form based on the answer provided by firms and reviewers.

Will the AICPA continue to maintain the Peer Review Public File and Reviewer Search?
Yes. The Peer Review Public File and Reviewer Search will continue to be made available to the public. Those services will be much more tightly integrated with PRIMA allowing for fast sharing of information.

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PRIMA Timeline

When will PRIMA be available to use?
PRIMA launched on May 1, 2017.

What will happen to the reviews currently in process?
All review data in PRISM was migrated into PRIMA, including active reviews. Reviews that were not  scheduled in PRISM will be required to complete the PRIMA scheduling process. Working papers not submitted by the April 10 deadline must be uploaded into PRIMA. All firms and reviewers will be required to use PRIMA at go-live to complete peer review tasks.

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Communications

How have you communicated with PRIMA users?
The AICPA Peer Review Team has and will continue to notify users through targeted communications such as:

  • Peer Reviewers: Notified through Reviewer Alerts

  • Enrolled AICPA Firms: Notified through Firm Alerts that are located under the “Resources” tab of the PRIMA web page, aicpa.org/PRIMA.

  • State Society Peer Review Administrators and Technical Reviewers: Notified through AICPA emails, Reviewer Alerts, Firm Alerts, quarterly conference calls, AE Biweekly calls and the PRIMA web page, aicpa.org/PRIMA.

  • SBOA: Notified through email.

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PRIMA Go-Live Preparation

Do I need to do anything to prepare prior to the launch of PRIMA?

    Peer Reviewers:
    (Notified Reviewers in the 2/23/2017 Reviewer Alert)
  • Working papers should be submitted to the appropriate Administering Entity (AE) by April 10, 2017, if possible. This will allow the AE sufficient time to process those working papers prior to PRIMA go-live.

  • Working papers not received by the AE by April 10, 2017 may be required to be uploaded directly into PRIMA.

  • Working papers that are ready to be submitted to the AE between April 10 and May 1 should be held by the reviewer and uploaded in PRIMA once the system is live.

    Firms
    (Notified Firms on 3/6/2017 in the Firm Alert located under the “Resources” tab of the PRIMA webpage, aicpa.org/PRIMA.)
  • If your firm is currently completing the background form, providing team information, or scheduling a Committee Appointed Review Team (CART) review, please submit all scheduling information on or before April 10, 2017. If you do not submit by this date, you may be required to complete this information in PRIMA after go-live. Scheduling information includes the background form, team information (Exhibit 1), and for CART reviews, the engagement letter for your review. The previously issued background and team information forms will no longer be valid after May 1. If you are not prepared to submit those forms prior to April 10, we encourage firms to wait to submit that information in PRIMA on or after May 1. This information was sent in the Firm Alert and the archived alert can be located under the “Resources” tab of the PRIMA web page, aicpa.org/PRIMA.

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Training & User Instructions

Will you offer training for all users prior to launching PRIMA?
Yes. Training will be offered to peer review administrators, technical reviewers, peer reviewers, reviewed firms and Facilitated State Board Access (FSBA) users. Training dates and registration links are maintained on the PRIMA web page, aicpa.org/PRIMA. We encourage you to monitor the web page for updates on training.

How will I be notified about training?
The AICPA Peer Review Team has and will continue to notify users through targeted communications such as:

  • Peer Reviewers: Notified through Reviewer Alerts

  • Enrolled AICPA Firms: Notified through Firm Alerts that are located under the “Resources” tab of the PRIMA web page, aicpa.org/PRIMA.

  • State Society Peer Review Administrators and Technical Reviewers: Notified through AICPA emails, Reviewer Alerts, Firm Alerts, quarterly conference calls, AE Biweekly calls and the PRIMA web page, aicpa.org/PRIMA.

  • SBOA: Notified through email.

    In addition, the training dates for all users are posted on the PRIMA web page, aicpa.org/PRIMA.

Will you offer post go-live training?
Yes. Post go-live training was held May 16, 2017. Check the PRIMA web page, aicpa.org/PRIMA, for updates on future training sessions. All post go-live training will be communicated to the users.

What if I can’t attend the scheduled training sessions?
Each session will be recorded and the archive made available on the PRIMA web page, aicpa.org/PRIMA, within two business days.

How often will training be offered?
Recordings of all training sessions will be made available for free. The AICPA will continue to consider what ongoing trainings will be required in the months after go live. We currently anticipate additional training for firm’s whose reviews will not take place for some time and to address new functionality as it is introduced.

Will you provide a PRIMA User Manual?
Yes. User instructions, including video demonstrations will be provided in the Knowledge Base and can be accessed through PRIMA.

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Noticeable Changes in PRIMA

What will change for Firms?
Firms will now enter peer review information directly in PRIMA. This includes:

  • updating firm enrollment (including the firm’s Managing Partner and Peer Review Contact, indicating the levels of service performed by the firm)

  • scheduling the firm’s peer review

  • responding to Matters for Further Consideration (MFCs) during their review

  • responding to Findings for Further Consideration (FFCs) during their review

What will change for Peer Reviewers?

    Peer Reviewers will now:
  • upload working papers in PRIMA

  • electronic MFC & FFCs for all firms

  • electronic letters

  • team collaboration on entire peer review process (emailed reviewers 11/9/16)

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Support

What type of support is offered for users after go-live?
PRIMA will launch along the Peer Review Knowledge Base that will include instructional articles and videos about the use of PRIMA. AICPA Peer Review telephone hotline and email support will also be available to all firms enrolled in the AICPA PRP and the state society programs to provide support in accessing and using PRIMA.

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