IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE PEER REVIEW PROGRAM FOR ARKANSAS FIRMS
Effective April 1, 2019, the Arkansas Society of CPAs began a partnership with the Alabama Society of CPAs for the administration of the peer review program for all Arkansas firms. The ARCPA Board of Directors, staff and Peer Review Administrative Task Force worked diligently for more than a year to evaluate the administration process and the challenges and difficulties that ARCPA would face going forward as a result of the AICPA’s enhancements to audit quality in the peer review program. The administration of the program requires significant investment and resources in order to meet the new benchmarks that are now being required by the AICPA Peer Review Board and its Oversight Task Force. The ARCPA Board determined that it would be in the best interest of our members to partner with another state for the administration of the program. This allows the ARCPA staff to focus on strategic objectives identified by the Board that will benefit current and future society members.
After careful examination of several state CPA societies that administer the AICPA Peer Review Program, the selection of Alabama was based on a number of factors which include the comparability of the size of firms they administer to Arkansas firms, the regional location close to Arkansas, and the fact that they have dedicated, experienced full-time staff, including a CPA, which is now required by peer review standards, to effectively administer the peer review program. The Alabama staff is able to offer the personal assistance that Arkansas firms have come to expect. Most importantly, the annual fees that firms are required to pay for administration of the peer review program will not increase as they would have if ARCPA continued to administer its own program. We have offered peer review as a service to ARCPA member firms since 1989 and we could not justify doubling the administrative fees that we charge annually in order to cover the required CPA on staff. By partnering with Alabama, many firms will see a reduction in fees.
What does this mean for Arkansas firms? The partnership of peer review administration with Alabama began on April 1, 2019. The Alabama staff assumed complete administration responsibility for all peer reviews on that date, regardless of the status of any currently scheduled peer reviews. With the help of PRIMA, the Alabama staff was easily able to assume administration of all Arkansas peer review cases. Arkansas firms will not see any difference in their peer review records in PRIMA. The steps will be the same as they were prior to April 1, 2019. The only change is the location of the staff that is administering the program.
What are the benefits of the partnership with Alabama? Our partnership with Alabama provides Arkansas firms with a broader perspective. Members of the ARCPA Peer Review Committee are serving on a blended Peer Review Committee consisting of professionals from both states. Using committee members from both states during the acceptance process enables the Alabama staff to more effectively mitigate any familiarity threats, which is now a requirement in the peer review standards.
Who do we contact with questions? For questions regarding your firm’s peer review, please contact Ashley Sellers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 334.386.5762 (direct) or 334-834-7650 (main office number).
What is peer review?
A peer review is a periodic outside review of a firm's quality control system in accounting and auditing. Its aim is to maintain and improve the quality of accounting and auditing performed by member firms. The AICPA Peer Review Program is dedicated to enhancing accounting, auditing and attestation services performed by AICPA members in public practice.
PEER REVIEW RESOURCES
- Alabama Society of CPAs Peer Review Division
- Arkansas Peer Review Requirement Effective January 1, 2019
- Q&A About the AICPA Peer Review Program
- PRIMA Access
- PRIMA Questions & Answers
- AICPA Peer Review Program Standards
- Information for Firms/Enroll in Peer Review
- Selecting a Qualified Peer Review Team
- Become a Qualified Peer Reviewer