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Administrative fees have been established to cover costs of administering the Peer Review Program in Florida. These fees are in addition to reviewer fees and cover administrative procedures, such as:
All firms enrolled in the program that perform audits, reviews, compilations and/or attest service engagements are assessed an annual administrative fee to cover the costs of administering the program. The amount of the annual fee is based on the specific number of professionals currently employed by your firm. Each firm is invoiced for the annual fee upon enrollment in the program based on a progressive billing structure. Subsequent years’ fees are assessed in August/September of each year. The base fee of $160 includes one professional. There is a $40 charge for each additional professional, up to a maximum of $940 for additional professionals/$1,100 maximum total).
The term “professional” refers to all personnel who perform professional services for which the firm is responsible whether or not they are CPAs (SQCS No. 2, par. 3, footnote 4). This reference includes leased and per diem staff who devote at least 25% of their time in performing audits, reviews, compilations, or other attest engagements, or leased and per diem staff who have partner/manager level responsibility for the overall supervision or review of such engagements.
If for any reason a firm rejoins the AICPA or FICPA Peer Review Program after it had previously been dropped or terminated from any program, a $500 reinstatement fee must be paid to the FICPA prior to reinstatement in either program. In addition, any annual administrative fees that have not been paid from the time of being dropped or terminated to reinstatement must be paid.
A non-member fee of $100 is charged to firms which are not members of the FICPA or the AICPA.
In all cases, the Peer Review Committee will accept no review until full payment of all fees has been made.
Reviewer fees vary. Reviewer/review team selection may be accomplished in one of three ways.
Reviewers (and review teams) for all review types may be established by the reviewed firm themselves. These types of arrangements are known as “Firm-on-Firm” reviews. System and Engagement Firm-on-Firm reviewer fees are negotiated between the firm and the reviewer.
Firms belonging to associations may arrange for their AICPA-authorized association to establish their reviewer (and review team); these are known as “Association” arranged reviews and the rates are negotiated between the firm and the association.
“CART” (Committee Appointed Review Team) reviews are only available for engagement reviews. The cost of a CART review is based on how many engagements must be chosen for review. The number selected is based on the level of service offered and the number of partners responsible for issuing reports. The base fee for a CART review is $550. Each engagement reviewed is $150. A firm choosing a CART review will be billed approximately ½ of the anticipated reviewer fee prior to scheduling. Out-of-pocket expenses, such as postage and telephone, are the responsibility of the reviewed firm. As stated above, there is also a $100 administrative surcharge for CART reviews.
Helpful Budget Guidelines for firms having System Reviews
The budget for a system review and the number of reviewers selected for service on a system review team will vary based on the number of accounting and auditing hours of the reviewed firm and the nature of a firm's practice. In determining your accounting and auditing hours, time for bookkeeping services, tax preparation and non-accounting services should be eliminated. For compilation engagements, especially engagements omitting disclosures, it is common for firms to estimate the actual time spent applying professional standards. On average, firm time ranges from one to five hours per engagement. By estimating, a firm can save a considerable amount of time evaluating its accounting and auditing hours.
The chart below lists the approximate time needed to complete a review based on the number of Accounting and Auditing hours a firm has.
* This estimate includes the time spent by the review team (a) planning the review; (b) performing the field work on the review; and (c) finalizing the report, LOC and working papers on the review.