- Professional Ethics
- Peer Review
- Business Reporting Assurance & Advisory Services
- Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center
- Governmental Auditing & Accounting
- International Relations
- Practice Mobility & State Regulatory & Legislative Affairs
The Professional Ethics Division consists of the Professional Ethics Executive Committee (PEEC); the Independence/Behavioral Standards Subcommittee (IND/BHS); the Technical Standards Subcommittee (TNS); task forces; study groups; and staff assigned to the division. The PEEC is a senior technical committee of the Institute and its objectives include the promotion and understanding of ethical standards through education, articles in Institute and other publications, presentations by members and staff at conferences and seminars; and seeking ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Joint Ethics Enforcement Program.
The Professional Ethics Division carries out the PEEC’s objectives by: (1) investigating potential disciplinary matters involving members, including taking appropriate disciplinary, remedial or corrective action where the PEEC finds prima facie evidence of infraction of the bylaws or Code of Professional Conduct; (2) arranging for the presentation of cases before the trial board where the PEEC finds prima facie evidence of infraction of the bylaws or Code of Professional Conduct of sufficient gravity to warrant such action; (3) interpreting the Code of Professional Conduct and proposing amendments thereto.
What is peer review? It is a process in which one CPA firm evaluates and reports on the quality of another CPA firm’s accounting and auditing practice once every three years. Peer review is administered in cooperation with state CPA societies and other organizations that elect to participate as peer review administering entities and that are approved by the AICPA Peer Review Board. Peer reviews are performed and reported on in accordance with the Standards for Performing and Reporting on Peer Reviews and other guidance issued by the PRB.
In order to be admitted to or retain their membership in the AICPA, members of the AICPA who are engaged in the practice of public accounting in the United States or its territories are required to be practicing as partners or employees of firms enrolled in an approved practice-monitoring program if the services performed by such a firm are within the scope of the AICPA’s practice-monitoring standards and the firm issues reports purporting to be in accordance with AICPA professional standards.
What is our mission? The Peer Review Team is dedicated to enhancing the quality in the performance of accounting, auditing and attestation engagements performed by AICPA members and their firms enrolled in the AICPA Peer Review Program.
What is our vision? The vision of the Peer Review Team is to serve the public by assisting member firms in enhancing their accounting and auditing performance by offering reliable, quality, timely and consistent services that exceed stakeholder expectations.
What do we do? The Peer Review Team is comprised of 22 staff members who work together to facilitate the administration of the AICPA Peer Review Program. Technical staff members perform reviews of working papers, perform technical reviews, visit CPA firms and state societies to conduct oversights, assist with writing Standards, Interpretations and guidance, provide technical support to peer reviewers, CPA firms and state societies, develop and present sessions at the Annual Peer Review Conference, review content of peer reviewer training courses and serve as liaisons to task forces of the AICPA Peer Review Board, among other tasks. Administrative staff members work directly with state society peer review administrators, peer reviewers and CPA firms to ensure the Peer Review Team’s operations run smoothly.
Business Reporting Assurance & Advisory Services
The overarching role of the AICPA’s Business Reporting Assurance & Advisory Services (BRAAS) team is to provide oversight, direction, project management, and visioning for emerging business reporting and assurance issues and initiatives that are identified and developed through input from AICPA members, committees, and staff.
The BRAAS Team is currently working on three major initiatives that support the Team’s goals related to business reporting and assurance:
- eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) is a universal format for exchanging financial and business reporting data and has been identified as a revolutionary tool for enabling and improving business reporting. The AICPA is developing tools and education to assist members with XBRL adoption and implementation.
- Enhanced Business Reporting (EBR) is focused on improving business reporting by developing an internationally recognized, voluntary framework for presentation and disclosure of value drivers, non-financial performance measures, and qualitative information.
- The Assurance Services Executive Committee (ASEC) purpose is to address the needs of all AICPA members in all areas of practice or business who prepare or attest to information not covered by other authoritative standards. The ASEC is focused on:
- Filling voids in providing assurance on information as it moves through the entire business information supply chain, covering both internal and external reporting and
- Developing practice guidance that will assist CPAs in industry, government, or public practice in implementing new assurance methodologies and services.
Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center
The Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center Team is responsible for AICPA activities relating to audits of employee benefit plans that are subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Such audits include financial statement audits of defined contribution plans (i.e. - 401(k) and 403(b) plans), defined benefit pension plans, and health and welfare plans. There is a strong public interest component to the work of the EBPAQC Team. The following are the primary activities of the Team:
- Managing the activities of the AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center;
- Performing technical activities relating to employee benefit plan auditing and accounting; and
- Serving in an advocacy role to the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefit Security Administration.
AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center (EBPAQC)
The AICPA is committed to helping its members achieve the highest standards in performing quality audits of employee benefit plans. To achieve this purpose the AICPA created the EBPAQC. The Center's primary purpose is to promote the importance of quality employee benefit plan audits and the value of such audits to sponsors and administrators of employee benefit plans, as well as to serve as a comprehensive resource provider to member firms. The Team staffs the EBPAQC Executive Committee, composed of volunteer members, which establishes general policies of the Center and oversees its activities. The Center provides its members with information, tools, training and resources to enhance their audit quality. It also offers both members and non-members a comprehensive Web site (www.aicpa.org/EBPAQC) that provides the latest information on employee benefit plan auditing and related resources.
The EBPAQC Team performs numerous technical activities. It monitors and comments on various proposals of the U.S. Department of Labor and accounting and auditing activities affecting employee benefit plans. The Team works with volunteer members serving on the Employee Benefit Plan Expert Panel to carry out many of its technical activities.
The EBPAQC Team liaises regularly with the U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefit Security Administration. Both the AICPA and DOL have the common goal of achieving high quality auditing. The Team also monitors and analyzes federal regulatory and legislative developments affecting auditing or accounting of employee benefit plans. This activity includes commenting on related federal regulatory proposals to ensure that both the public interest and issues of importance to our members that practice in this area are addressed.
Governmental Auditing & Accounting
The Governmental Auditing & Accounting (GAA) Team is responsible for overall AICPA activities relating to governmental auditing and accounting. This includes assisting AICPA members that perform governmental audits. Such audits include financial statement audits of federal, state and local governments; universities; health care organizations; and others. They also include compliance audits of governmental and not-for-profit organizations expending federal and state awards. There is a strong public interest component to the work of the GAA Team. The following are the primary activities of the Team:
- Managing the activities of the AICPA Governmental Audit Quality Center;
- Performing technical activities relating to governmental auditing and accounting; and
- Serving in an advocacy role.
AICPA Governmental Audit Quality Center (GAQC)
The AICPA is committed to helping its members achieve the highest standards in performing quality governmental audits. To achieve this purpose the AICPA created the GAQC and staffs the activities of the Center with the GAA Team. The Center's primary purpose is to promote the importance of quality governmental audits and the value of such audits to purchasers of governmental audit services, as well as to serve as a comprehensive resource provider to member firms. This includes staffing the GAQC Executive Committee, comprised of volunteer members, which establishes general policies of the Center and oversees its activities. The Center provides its members with information, tools, and resources to enhance their governmental audit quality. It also offers both members and non-members a comprehensive Web site (www.aicpa.org/GAQC) that provides the latest information on governmental auditing and related resources.
The GAA Team performs numerous technical activities. It comments on various governmental accounting proposals of the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) and interacts with the AICPA Auditing Standards Board on governmental auditing issues. The GAA team provides members with information about exposure documents, and new standards. Very importantly, the Team also assists members how new standards affect governmental audits, primarily through involvement in two key AICPA publications— the Audit and Accounting Guide, Audits of State and Local Governments and the AICPA Audit Guide, Government Auditing Standards and Circular A-133 Audits. The Team works with volunteer members serving on the GAQC Executive Committee and the State and Local Government Expert Panel to carry out many of its technical activities.
The GAA Team interacts regularly with federal and state regulators that oversee governmental auditing. Both the AICPA and these bodies have the common goal of wanting to ensure high quality governmental auditing. The bodies that the GAA Team interacts with include the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, the Government Accountability Office, various federal inspector general offices, state auditors, and others. The Team also monitors and analyzes federal regulatory and legislative developments affecting auditing or accounting in a governmental environment. This activity includes commenting on related federal regulatory proposals to ensure that both the public interest and issues of importance to our members that practice in this area are addressed.
The International Relations team thinks strategically about how to position the AICPA internationally. We ensure that the AICPA is relevant and influential through our engagement with international regulatory bodies responsible for setting standards and developing policies and guidelines for the profession worldwide. Our team of internationally experienced professionals relies on a unique global perspective to help develop our integrated international strategy, which is designed to ensure that AICPA’s impact remains strong in the international arena. We are also responsible for strengthening and enhancing relationships with our partners, located in every major financial center around the globe.
Supporting and connecting CPAs is critical, especially as technology and globalization continue to bring us closer together. Our team works hard to ensure that our members are well represented, engaged and connected – from New York to Brussels, London to Hong Kong, and everywhere in between. The CPA is a professional of the highest caliber and is recognized worldwide. We are here to strengthen that image and ensure our members have what they need to succeed anywhere.
Practice Mobility & State Regulatory & Legislative Affairs
The SSRLT serves as an information clearinghouse for state CPA societies, state boards of accountancy and AICPA members on issues that impact the accounting profession at the state level. The team provides resources, research and information on these and other state regulatory and legislative matters.