Review Process

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(NOTE: This scheduling form and its exhibits require Acrobat Reader 8 or above, and if you do not have this, you will not be able to use this electronic form. Please click on the following link to obtain the free program you may need: Acrobat Reader 8 or above)

Scheduling the Review

Once your firm has enrolled in the Peer Review Program you will be required to have a review every three years. The initial "Request for Scheduling Information" letters are emailed to the Managing Partner of the firm approximately six to eight months prior to a firm's peer review due date and direct your firm to complete online and submit electronically the Peer Review Scheduling Form (also known as the Peer Review Background Form).

The letter provides all the firm-specific information needed to complete the scheduling form, including your firms review number, AICPA firm number, the review year end and due date (the date by which all review documents should be completed and submitted to the FICPA). We ask that the scheduling / background form be completed and submitted within 30 days of our request by following the directions on the last page of the scheduling form.

The form includes 2 exhibits for providing reviewer selection information. Your firm may provide the reviewer selection information at the time of the initial form submission via Exhibit 1 (or via Exhibit 2 if you are choosing a Committee-Appointed Review Team {CART review}). Alternatively, you may provide the Reviewer Selection Form (located on this page) at a later date.

Click on the following link to open and complete the electronically “submit-able” version of the Peer Review Scheduling / Background Form (If you have problems submitting the form using the “Submit” button at the end of it, please save it and email it as an attachment to the following email address: peerreviewscheduling@ficpa.org.

Peer Review Scheduling Form – Electronic Version

If you prefer to mail your scheduling form to the FICPA, you may print a hard copy by clicking on the link which will open the form allowing you to print the file. You may request a blank hard copy of the form to be sent to you by email by calling (800) 342-3197, extension 252 or by emailing the following address: peerreviewscheduling@ficpa.org

Additional scheduling form guidance providing practice area and industry code information useful in completing the form is available at: Scheduling Form Guidance

A list of qualified reviewers and their firms may be found through the following link:
The AICPA Peer Reviewer Search

Review Types and Methods

You must also indicate both the review type and the review method on the form which are explained in the following paragraphs.

Review Types

There are two types of peer reviews:

System Review

The objectives of a System Review are to provide the reviewer with a reasonable basis for expressing an opinion on whether, during the year under review:

  1. The reviewed firm's system of quality control for its accounting and auditing practice has been designed in accordance with quality control standards established by the AICPA (see SQCS No. 7).
  2. The reviewed firm's quality control policies and procedures were being complied with to provide the firm with reasonable assurance of performing and reporting in conformity with applicable professional standards in all material respects.

A System Review is designed to test a reasonable cross section of the firm's engagements with a focus on high-risk engagements, in addition to significant risk areas where the possibility exists of engagements not being performed and/or reported on in conformity with applicable professional standards in all material respects. The majority of the procedures in a System Review should be performed at the reviewed firm's office. On System Reviews, the reviewed firm is expected to take appropriate actions in response to any findings, deficiencies, and significant deficiencies identified with their system of quality control or their compliance with the system, or both.

Engagement Review

The objective of an Engagement Review is to evaluate whether engagements submitted for review are performed and reported on in conformity with applicable professional standards in all material respects. An Engagement Review consists of reading the financial statements or information submitted by the reviewed firm and the accountant's report thereon, together with certain background information and representations and, except for compilation engagements performed under SSARS, the applicable documentation required by professional standards.Engagement Reviews are available only to firms that do not perform engagements under the SASs, Government Auditing Standards, examinations of prospective financial statements under the SSAEs, or audits of non-SEC issuers performed pursuant to the standards of the PCAOB. However, firms eligible to have an Engagement Review may elect to have a System Review (see interpretations). Engagement Reviews are normally performed at a location other than the reviewed firm's office. On Engagement Reviews, the reviewed firm is expected to take appropriate actions in response to findings, deficiencies, and significant deficiencies identified in engagements.

For both types of reviews, the program is based on the principle that a systematic monitoring and educational process is the most effective way to attain high quality performance throughout the profession. Thus, it depends on mutual trust and cooperation. All actions will be positive and remedial. Disciplinary actions (including those that can result in the termination of a firm's enrollment in the program and the subsequent loss of membership in the AICPA and some state CPA societies by its partners and employees) will be taken only for a failure to cooperate, failure to correct inadequacies, or when a firm is found to be so seriously deficient in its performance that education and remedial, corrective actions are not adequate.

Review Methods

The three methods of reviewer/review team selection available are:

Firm-on-Firm Review

This method allows you to select your own reviewer. Complete Exhibit 1 on the "Information Required for Scheduling Reviews" form, which requests the name of the reviewing firm and reviewer you have selected. Prior to your requested commencement date, the FICPA will confirm whether the review team is qualified to conduct the review. You will be notified in writing once the team has been approved.

Committee Appointed Review Team (CART)

A CART review is appropriate for firms who would like the FICPA to select a reviewer for them. This option is only available to firms having an engagement review.  It is no longer available to firms having a system review. Please see the Fee Structure section for cost information. With the help of a computer program, the FICPA will randomly select a reviewer with attributes that match the firm's areas of practice. Any reviewer restrictions (e.g., location of the reviewer) requested by the firm are taken into account. You will then receive an engagement letter including information about the reviewer selected. You have the option of accepting or rejecting the selection, and if declined, another selection will be made for your approval.

Association Review

You may select this method if your firm is a member of an association. The association must be authorized by the AICPA Peer Review Board to assemble such review teams.

Review Performance

The review covers a one-year period mutually agreed upon by the reviewer and the firm. The firm is expected to keep the same review year as the prior review. If the review year needs to be changed, the change must be approved by the FICPA. Engagements selected for review are those with years ending during the year under review, unless financial statements covering a more recent year have been issued. Ideally, the review period must not end before the end of the previous calendar year.

In order to comply with the scheduled due date, the review should be scheduled early enough so that all documents are received by the FICPA Peer Review Department prior to the scheduled due date. If you are unable to have your review by the scheduled due date, you may submit a written extension request prior to the review due date. It should indicate the nature of extenuating circumstances necessitating the need for an extension, a tentative exit conference date and an alternative date for completion. Extensions will be granted on a case-by-case basis. Please keep in mind that the AICPA does not consider tax season a reason to grant extensions on peer reviews. If your due date falls during this time, you are encouraged to have the review early.