The AICPA Peer Review Program is dedicated to enhancing the quality of accounting, auditing and attestation services. The Program is a systemic evaluation whose value in serving the public interest and firms lies in its educational and remedial nature. The Program will review a selection of engagements completed by firms, however, it is not intended to assure that firms will perform all engagements, in all industries, in accordance with professional standards. Findings and deficiencies noted in peer reviews sometimes result in implementation plans and/or corrective actions; however, these are not intended to be punitive measures. All involved stakeholders should fully understand, accept, engage, and promote the Peer Review Program and its value.
Your firm might also want to consider performing peer reviews. Explore the benefits of providing this valuable service through this AICPA Insights blog and video featuring Michael Brand, CPA.
Peer Review Process and Requirements for PCPS Member Firms:
Since PCPS and its member firms strive for commitment to quality, a membership requirement of PCPS member firms is that they must:
- Be enrolled in an approved AICPA practice monitoring program.
- Have their peer reviews performed under the AICPA Standards for Performing and Reporting on Peer Reviews.
- Upon request, provide PCPS their peer review results which are posted to the AICPA Peer Review Public File and include the firm's most recent peer review report, letter of response (if applicable) and acceptance letter,
Peer review results are uploaded (and are automatically available in the Public File) by the entity administering the firm’s peer review within 30 days of the acceptance of that review.
Note 1: Not all AICPA member firms peer review results are posted to the AICPA Peer Review Public File. Posting is only required for member firms of certain sections within the AICPA (e.g., PCPS, EBPAQC and GAQC).
Note 2: If your firm does not have an accounting and auditing practice and therefore does not perform services that include issuing reports purporting to be in accordance with AICPA professional standards, this requirement does not apply to your firm.
Firms that are active in the practice of public accounting fall under this peer review requirement as follows (source: AICPA Standards for Performing and Reporting on Peer Reviews):
Firms that are enrolled in an AICPA approved practice-monitoring program are obligated to adhere to quality control standards established by the AICPA.
Quality Control Standards and Quality Control Document Guidance:
Statement on Quality Control Standards (SQCS) No. 8, A Firm's System of Quality Control (Redrafted) (AICPA, Professional Standards, vol. 2, QC sec. 10), requires every CPA firm, regardless of its size, to have a system of quality control for its accounting and auditing practice. To better understand and apply Statements on Quality Control Standard (SQCS) No. 8, refer to the AICPA Audit and Accounting Practice Aid Establishing and Maintaining a System of Quality Control for a CPA Firm’s Accounting and Auditing Practice. SQCS No. 8 is included as appendix A of this Practice Aid.