Peer Review Information
All peer reviews administered by the VSCPA are performed under the AICPA Standards for Performing and Reporting on Peer Reviews.
Peer Review Program | Top
The VSCPA Peer Review Program is subject to administrative oversight of the Program and staff every other year by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). In addition to the on-site oversight conducted by the AICPA, the VSCPA Peer Review Committee Chair performs oversight during the years between AICPA on-site oversight.
In an effort to provide greater transparency for the program, the AICPA Peer Review Board has requested that all administering entities prepare oversight reports on an annual basis. This report provides detailed information and statistics regarding Virginia's enrolled firms.
Enrollment Information and Forms | Top
Does your firm need to enroll in a peer review program? If your firm is performing accounting and auditing engagements that fit the definition below, then the firm must enroll.
Accounting and auditing engagements for the purposes of peer review are defined as all engagements covered by Statements on Auditing Standards (SAS), Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services (SSARS), Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE), and the Government Auditing Standards (Yellow Book) issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office Office (GAO).
If your firm has an owner/partner who is an AICPA member, please fill out the AICPA Peer Review Program Enrollment Form (PDF). If your firm does not have any owners/partners who are AICPA members, but the firm has employees who are members of the VSCPA, please fill out the VSCPA Peer Review Program Enrollment Form (PDF).
If your firm does not have any AICPA or VSCPA members and you would like information on the VSCPA Peer Review Program, please click here. (State Board of Accountancy Firms)
The Peer Review Process | Top
Enrollment — After a firm's enrollment form has been received, a due date for the firm's initial review is assigned. Generally, the due date for the firm's first review is set about 18 months after program enrollment.
Scheduling — Approximately six months before a firm's review due date, scheduling instructions will be sent via email. This can be completed on-line and submitted to the VSCPA in order for the review to be scheduled. It is the firm's responsibility to choose its own reviewer. The review should not commence until the firm has received notification from the VSCPA that the reviewer has been approved to perform the review.
After the review — Once the review has been completed, the reviewer will submit a copy of the review report and required working papers to the VSCPA. If no deficiencies were noted, the firm is not responsible for submitting anything. If the report noted any deficiencies, the firm is responsible for sending in a copy of the review report issued by the reviewer and the firm's letter of response (LOR) to those comments. If applicable, firms must submit these materials to the VSCPA within 30 days of the date the reviewer issues the report.
Administrative and technical reviews — These ensure that all the required documents from the reviewer and the firm are received and complete. The technical reviewers determine whether the review has been conducted in accordance with governing standards, and whether the firm has responded to any findings in an appropriate manner.
Committee process — Once all of the review documents have been through the administrative and technical review process they are presented to the Peer Review Committee for consideration of acceptance. After the Committee meets and accepts a review, firms should receive the review acceptance letter from the VSCPA within 14 days. However, some firms may be required to perform certain corrective follow-up actions before the review can be closed. Generally, except in the case where extensions have been granted, a firm's next review due date is set three years later.
All peer review documents and results are confidential. It is the firm's decision whether or not to publicize or release their peer review results. However, firms should remember that the results of a peer review should not be published until after the VSCPA Peer Review Committee has accepted it.
Administrative Fees | Top
Pay your annual administrative fee here!
The VSCPA charges an annual administrative fee to each firm to cover the costs of program administration. These amounts have been designed to be sensitive to firm size. The 2013–2014 fees are as follows for firms with AICPA and/or VSCPA members:
Please note: A professional is defined as all personnel who perform professional services for which the firm is responsible, whether or not they are CPAs (AICPA, Professional Standards, vol. 2, QC sec. 20.03, footnote 4).
This is a separate fee from what a reviewer will charge for his or her services.
Types of Reviews | Top
Click here for a description of a system review.
Click here for a description of an engagement review.
Instructions to Firms | Top
The following instructions are from the AICPA Peer Review Program Manual.
Letters of Response | Top
A firm is required to write a letter of response if the reviewer found deficiencies. The following are samples of letter of responses.
Access the AICPA's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) publication on Peer Review. It answers your questions about enrollment, general information, information for enrolled firms, choosing a peer reviewer, preparing for the review, having the review, the report types, peer review committee consideration and acceptance and other matters.