The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) requires its member firms to undergo a peer review every three years. A peer review, also known as the AICPA’s practice monitoring program, is a periodic external review of a firm’s quality control system in accounting and auditing. AICPA members engaged in the practice of public accounting are required to practice in a firm that is enrolled in an approved practice-monitoring program such as the Peer Review Program.

The Florida Institute of CPAs administers the AICPA Peer Review Program for both AICPA members firms and non-AICPA member firms. The program is designed to be educational for firms in public accounting to further enhance the quality in their performance of accounting and auditing work. The program also allows for firms to communicate with their fellow peers on the objectives of the profession.

The Law

In June 2013, the Governor signed legislation requiring a licensed firm that performs certain audit and attestation services under FS 473.302(8)(a) to enroll in a Florida Board of Accountancy (Board) approved peer review program as a condition of firm licensure. The law became effective January 1, 2015. The law brought Florida closer in line with the rest of the country by implementing more of the Uniform Accountancy Act. Unlike the UAA and most other states, however, firms that perform no audit or attestation services will be exempt from the enrollment requirement.

The Requirement

Firms who already participate in a voluntary peer review program for purposes of meeting AICPA membership requirements, Government Auditing Standards and/or other regulatory requirements will be unaffected by the new law. Those firm’s peer review year-ends and due dates will not change. Firms who do not already participate in a voluntary peer review program and meet the requirements set forth in the Law will need to enroll in an approved program beginning January 1, 2015.

Firms enrolled in the program will be expected to pay an enrollment fee to the approved administering entity. Other costs associated with the peer review process may include: annual administrative fees to the approved administering entity and reviewer costs for the performance of the peer review. Review costs vary depending upon the size and nature of the firm’s practice. A firm that is terminated from the program by a Board approved administering entity shall notify the Board in writing within 30 days of the effective date of the termination and provide a copy of the termination letter.

 

Firm Structure Changes

If your firm has gone through or is currently experiencing a dissolution, merger, purchase, sale or name change, please contact one of the staff members listed below.

View the Firm Structure Change Form

 

About PRIMA

The AICPA launched a new web-based application on May 1, 2017. The FICPA will utilize the Peer Review Integrated Management Application (PRIMA) to administer peer reviews. The FICPA will no longer accept electronic or paper forms. Firms will be required to submit the information via the new web-based application, PRIMA.

After May 1, 2017, all enrolled firms will complete all peer review information directly in PRIMA. This includes:

  • Updating your firm’s enrollment (including your firm’s Managing Partner and Peer Review
  • Contact as well as indicating the levels of service performed by your firm)
  • Scheduling your firm’s peer review
  • Responding to Matters for Further Consideration (MFCs), if applicable, during your review
  • Responding to Findings for Further Consideration (FFCs), if applicable, during your review
  • Acknowledging your peer review acceptance letter
  • Submitting evidence for corrective actions
 

What types of engagements require a review under the state of Florida peer review requirements?

If your firm performs audits or engagements under the Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAEs), that are not compilations or reviews, your firm is subject to the requirements and must enroll in a Board approved program by January 1, 2015.

What types of engagements are excluded under the state of Florida peer review requirements?

If your firm performs no audit or engagements under the SSAEs your firm is exempted from the enrollment requirements of the program.

I am not a member of the AICPA and my firm performs only compilation and/or review engagements. Do I need to enroll in a peer review program?

No. Unless a third party requires you to undergo a peer review.

If I am an AICPA member and my firm only performs compilations and reviews do I still need to undergo peer review?

Yes. This law does not change any peer review requirements for AICPA member firms.

If my firm performs audits requiring me to enroll in the state of Florida peer review program are my firm’s compilation and review engagements peer reviewed?

Yes. The Board has adopted the AICPA Standards for Performing and Reporting on Peer Reviews and its Interpretations as its minimum standards. Those standards require any engagements performed under the SASs, GAS, SSAEs, and SSARS to be subject to peer review. Since your firm performs audits, which requires you to be enrolled in a peer review program, the standards for performing those reviews will determine what engagements are subject to and selected for peer review.

What if my firm only performs tax and consulting services?

Firms that provide only tax and consulting services are not subject to peer review under the state of Florida peer review requirement.

What period will be covered by the peer review?

The scope of the peer review will include all accounting and auditing engagements with client periods ending during a twelve-month period mutually agreed to by you and your peer reviewer (i.e., the peer review year). The peer review year generally ends six months prior to your peer review due date.

Who will assign my firm’s peer review due date?

The rules for administration of the Florida Public Accounting Act authorize the AICPA, and other peer review programs administered by entities fully involved in the administration of the AICPA Peer Review Program (which includes the FICPA) to assign peer review due dates. The Board may approve other administering entities. The peer review administrator may consider the number and types of engagements to be encompassed in the review, the year-ends and report date of the engagements, and state licensing requirements in determining an appropriate due date. A firm’s subsequent peer review ordinarily will be due three years and six months from its prior peer review year-end.

How much will this cost?

If the FICPA administers your peer review your direct peer review costs will have two components: (1) an annual fee paid to the peer review administrator to cover the costs of running the program and (2) the fee paid to the peer reviewer for the actual review.

For peer reviews administered by the Florida Institute of CPAs visit this web page for an explanation of fees.

Are peer review results to be submitted to the Board?

No.

However, if you practice in other states that require submission you can elect to have those results submitted to those states via the AICPA’s Facilitated State Board Access.

 

 
 

 

Contact the Peer Review Team

Have a question about peer review that we didn’t answer? Contact our team.

Paul Brown
Director of Technical Services
paul@ficpa.org
Ext. 251

Kathy Creel
Peer Review Manager
kathy@ficpa.org
Ext. 252

Joyce Luck
Peer Review Scheduling Coordinator
luckj@ficpa.org
Ex. 250