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Peer Review Process

Scheduling

The Peer Review process begins with the scheduling form. The form is completed by the firm and contains preliminary information about the firm such as the number of personnel and offices and the types of engagements performed. If a firm performs audits, the form further asks them to specify the types of audits and the areas of industry in which the firm specializes. The form also contains an area to designate the peer reviewer and team members as applicable.

Once NEPR receives the form, we enter the information into the AICPA computer database. The database will match the types of audits and the areas of industry marked by the firm with the reviewer’s & team member’s resumes. The system will also check to ensure that the reviewer has taken a peer review course within three years and that his/her resume has been updated within the last year. If errors are generated, we then contact the reviewer to resolve.

Confirmation letters are then sent to the firm and the reviewer and the review is then ready to proceed. We ensure that the review is completed in a timely manner, sending applicable late letters, and assisting in resolving any issues that the reviewer or firm may encounter.

Post-scheduling Process

Once a reviewer submits his report and workpapers to NEPR, the review goes through several procedures:

Administrative Review

This review is performed on the administrative level with the documents submitted by the reviewer checked for typos, omissions or errors. Any issues are cleared with the reviewer and the review is sent to technical review.

Technical Review

The technical reviewer's role is to ensure that the workpapers clearly document the scope and results of the peer review, that the conclusions and findings are consistent and confirm that the review meets applicable standards. The technical reviewer’s work may include comments to the Report Acceptance Body (RAB) to assist them in properly evaluating the review, but they do not participate in any part of the acceptance process.

Completion Process

Upon completion of the technical review, the papers are submitted to the RAB for consideration who summarize and relate their findings to the Executive Committee (EC) with recommendations for acceptance. The EC is charged with the responsibility to consider whether:

  • The review has been performed in accordance with AICPA Peer Review Standards.
  • The report and, if applicable, the response of the firm are in accordance with Standards, including an evaluation of the adequacy of corrective actions the reviewed firm has represented that it will perform in the letter of response or the FFC(s).
  • It should require any remedial or corrective actions in addition to those described by the firm in its letter of response.
  • The corrective actions implemented have been complied with by the reviewed firm. If the Committee decides that additional corrective or monitoring actions are necessary, the reviewed firm will be asked to agree in writing to the additional actions and provide evidence of completion of the actions before the review is accepted.

Reviews that have been accepted are “closed” in the AICPA computer system and firms are mailed an acceptance letter which also notifies them of their next peer review date. A copy of the letter is also sent to the reviewer, along with any feedback from the EC.

Firms whose reviews have been assigned remedial or corrective actions are mailed an “accept-provided-that” letter for signature and are monitored for timely completion. Once the required actions are completed, the review goes back to the original technical reviewer, who checks to ensure that the firm has complied with the actions. The review is then represented at the next EC meeting for acceptance or, if deemed necessary, further corrective action.