How to Become a Peer Reviewer 

    Performing peer reviews provides members with a way to give back to the profession. To become a peer reviewer, an individual must: 

    • Be a member of the AICPA in good standing, (that is, AICPA membership in active, non-suspended status) licensed to practice as a CPA.
    • Be currently active in public practice at a supervisory level in the accounting or auditing function of a firm enrolled in the program, as a partner1 of the firm, or as a manager or person with equivalent supervisory responsibilities. To be considered currently active in the accounting or auditing function, a reviewer should be presently involved in the accounting or auditing practice of a firm supervising one or more of the firm’s accounting or auditing engagements or carrying out a quality control function on the firm’s accounting or auditing engagements.
    • Be associated with a firm (or all firms if associated with more than one firm) that has received a report with the peer review rating of pass2 for its most recent System or Engagement Review that was accepted timely, ordinarily within the last three years and six months.
    • Possess current knowledge of professional standards applicable to the kind of practice to be reviewed, including quality control and peer review standards.  This includes recent experience in and knowledge about current rules and regulations appropriate to the level of service applicable to the industries of the engagements that the individual will be reviewing.
    • Have at least five years of recent experience in the practice of public accounting in the accounting or auditing function3.
    • Have provided the administering entity with information that accurately reflects the qualification of the reviewer including recent industry experience, which is updated on a timely basis.

    In addition to the peer review-specific training and in order to meet the requirement to possess current knowledge of professional standards applicable to the kind of practice to be reviewed, including quality control and peer review standards, peer reviewers should:

    • Obtain at least 40% of the AICPA required CPE in subjects relating to accounting, auditing, and quality control. Peer reviewers should obtain at least 8 hours in any 1 year and 48 hours every 3 years.

    If you are not qualified to be a peer reviewer but are interested in being a Service Organization Control (SOC) Specialist that aids the peer review team with the review of SOC engagements, visit our SOC Specialist page.

    Additional requirements that individuals must meet to be a team captain or review captain.

    • To be a System Review team captain, a reviewer must be a partner. To be a review captain on an Engagement Review, it is not necessary to be a partner.
    • Have completed peer review training that meets the requirements established by the AICPA Peer Review Board within 3 years of the commencement of the peer review. For more information about those requirements, visit our Peer Review Training page.

    Additional requirements that individuals must meet to perform peer reviews of firms required to be administered by the National Peer Review Committee (National NPRC).

    • A reviewer ordinarily must currently be with a firm whose most recent review was administered by the National PRC. Note: this is not a requirement for a peer reviewer on a review of a firm that elects (but is not required) to have their peer review administered by the National PRC.

    For additional information, please refer to AICPA Standards for Performing and Reporting on Peer Reviews, Peer Review Standards Interpretations, and other related guidance.


    Individuals who desire to initially qualify as a team captain on a System Review have the option to demonstrate proficiency in the standards, interpretations, and guidance of the program by using practical peer review experience. Those who choose this option must complete Day 1 of the “How To” course in live seminar format and, in lieu of completing Day 2, submit evidence of significant participation as a team member on a System Review. This significant participation must be under the guidance of a qualified and approved existing team captain (mentor). If you intend to choose this option, please see the detailed qualifications and seek out a mentor prior to foregoing the traditional live seminar two-day introductory course training option. See the AICPA Peer Review Mentoring Program page for further information.

    If you are interested in becoming a peer reviewer or have any questions about peer review, please email We look forward to hearing from you!

    1 If the peer reviewer's firm's most recent peer review was an Engagement or Report then the peer reviewer is not eligible to be a System Review Team Captain.

    2 A peer review report with a rating of pass was previously referred to as an unmodified report (with or without a letter of comments). If a firm's most recent peer review rating was a pass with deficiencies or fail, the firm's members are not eligible to perform peer reviews.

    For this purpose, recent means having experience within the last five years in the industries and related levels of service for which engagements are reviewed. However, a reviewer should be cautious of those high-risk engagements or industries in which new standards have been issued. For example, in those cases in which new industry standards or practices have occurred in the most recent year, it may be necessary to have current practice experience in that industry in order to have recent experience.

    A A A

    Copyright © 2006-2015 American Institute of CPAs.