(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).
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.
There are two types of peer reviews:
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:
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.
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.
The three methods of reviewer/review team selection available are:
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.
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.
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.