CPA Firm Peer Review Services
Why is Quality Peer Review So Important?
The best accounting and CPA firms, regardless of size, want accurate and thorough appraisals of their practices to ensure they adhere to the most stringent professional standards. Peer Review is more than a mechanism whereby one CPA firm engages another to review its accounting, auditing and attestation practices. This critical review evaluates the effectiveness of a firm’s control environment and also recommends best practices, opportunities for improved efficiency, and ways to correct deficiencies.
Peer reviews are required of CPA firms that belong to the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and issue reports purporting to be in compliance with AICPA professional standards. Most CPA firms in NYS that perform attest services must have a peer review and all firms that provide attest services for NYS or local government entities must have peer reviews of their practice. Firms undergo a review of their accounting and auditing practice once every three years.
Peer reviews help firms:
• Develop more effective audit procedures
• Identify areas where professional standards were not followed
• Identify issues that could deem a financial report materially misleading
• Increase confidence in firm practices and procedures
• Better understand quality control standards
• Add value to their quality control policies and procedures
Just as importantly, a quality peer review tells clients that your firm operates honestly and professionally, and that it can be trusted to handle their financial needs with integrity.
Finding the Right Peer Reviewer
Selecting the right peer reviewer takes care and due diligence if firms want to reap the full benefits of the process. Remember that the quality of a firm’s peer review is contingent on the quality of the reviewer. Find a reviewer whose firm’s practice size and industry specializations mirror your own, and one who has experience in the key areas in which your firm operates.
Your reviewer should possess:
• Experience in peer reviews
• Keen knowledge of the peer review program
• A desire to improve the quality of your firm
• Skills in accounting, auditing and quality control
PKHB’s leading peer review expert, Mary Kimball, has been very active in the peer review of CPA firms’ quality controls over their accounting and auditing practices since the American Institute of CPAs’ Peer Review Program launched in the late 1970s. Since receiving her initial peer review training in 1984, Mary has performed reviews of dozens of CPA firms across the eastern United States.
PKHB can also assist you in the following limited engagements:
• Operations reviews
• Engagement quality control reviews
• Consulting reviews
• Interim internal monitoring procedures
PKHB works with other CPA firms and is available to conduct periodic audits.
We have used PKHB for many years to conduct our peer review. Our peer review teams have been led by Mary Kimball who has always been able to provide us with valuable insight and practicle suggestions on how our audit practice can improve. We have always been impressed with the knowledge and professionalism she brings to the peer review process. She has been not only a peer reviewer but a mentor. Without the in depth reviews that she performs, the technical knowledge she shares, and the caring she has for us to continue to improve, I do not believe our audit practice would be at the high level it is.