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Staff Tips: Risk Assessment, Finding a Reviewer and Accessing PRIMA

June 19, 2019

Risk Assessment Standards 

As mentioned in the "From the VSCPA" article, the following resources can help you assess risk in your firm's own peer review:

Finding a Reviewer

Click here to access the AICPA’s peer reviewer search page, where you can enter specific criteria to find a peer reviewer, consulting services, team captain looking for a team member or to find a specific individual. As always, please feel free to visit the VSCPA’s Peer Review Committee page to access information regarding those serving on that committee

Accessing PRIMA 

This link (PDF; see page 2 under Accessing PRIMA) provides basic information for firms to access PRIMA, whether it's the first time you're using the tool or if you need a refresher. It will explain how to create a login or how to reset your password if you’ve already logged in before. To log in using your AICPA number, please reference the AICPA number on correspondence you’ve received from the AICPA, typically nine digits in length, beginning with a 9. If you do not see the option “Register using your AICPA member number,” please let us know and we will submit a ticket on your behalf for assistance from the AICPA PR support team. Otherwise, if you need assistance logging in, you can contact the PRIMA support desk directly at [email protected] or call them directly at (919) 402-4502. 

Review Status  

If you are in the process of going through a review, PRIMA will show where the review stands overall (i.e. with the team captain, firm or administering entity). If your review shows that it resides with the administering entity (VSCPA), don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’d be happy to apprise you of where your review stands, when it will be reviewed by the committee, and when you should expect to receive notification that the review was accepted by the committee. When in doubt or questions arise, please reach out to us, we’re happy to help! 

We would like to offer a friendly reminder that although we do our very best to assist in tracking of peer reviews in progress, it is ultimately the responsibility of the firm to know where an open review stands. The process typically starts by the firm receiving an annual request to update their peer review information in PRIMA. This is the firm’s opportunity to ensure that all information with the AICPA is up to date, including contact information and engagements performed by the firm.

Next, around six months prior to a firm’s due date, a notification will be sent via email reminding the firm that their review scheduling is due, which requires a firm to reach out through PRIMA to find a reviewer. We HIGHLY recommend that you contact the team captain outside of PRIMA as well to ensure that the team captain is willing/able to take on the review. If the team captain does not acknowledge the review in PRIMA, the scheduling will stay in a “pending” status and not be considered complete. If there’s any question regarding the status, feel free to give us a call. We’re happy to assist! 

Due Date Extension Requests 

The VSCPA adheres to the AICPA’s policy — set forth in the AICPA Administrative Manual, Chapter 7, interpretation 18-1 — for granting due date extension requests. All requests should be made through PRIMA (under For Firms in top banner of firm’s home screen), and will be assessed on a case-by case basis. VSCPA policy for extension requests dictates the following: 

  • Firms must request an extension no less than 60 days prior to the due date  
  • Requests cannot be made for any greater than 90 days past the original due date  
  • All extension requests made past the due date must be automatically rejected 

The VSCPA understands that circumstances may arise in which an extension request made within the above parameters is not feasible. Firms should still contact the VSCPA with the request and include as much detail as possible regarding the extenuating circumstances. The VSCPA will assess each need for a request on a case-by- case basis to determine if the request shall be granted or rejected.  

Contact and Enrollment Information

All firms should ensure that their contact information, especially their email address is up to date in the AICPA’s PRIMA database. PRIMA contacts firms solely through email, so all correspondence to firms regarding annual updates to enrollment information and important reminders for scheduling peer reviews are sent only by email. It is imperative that firms ensure their current email address is in PRIMA.  

When entering enrollment information, please ensure that the number you enter under the field for Firm Personnel that Provide A&A Services only includes personnel that have partner/manager level responsibility for the overall supervision or review of audits, reviews, compilations or other attest engagements. All other staff should be listed below the table as part of Non-A&A Personnel. The number of A&A staff you enter is used to determine your billing class for the VSCPA, so it’s extremely important that the number of A&A personnel is correct so your firm is not placed into the incorrect billing class and overcharged accordingly. 

Our staff is always happy to help if you have PRIMA issues, and can typically help guide you through the process of tasks such as signing up, changing information, or uploading documents for technical review. For technical or IT-related issues such as being locked out of your account or if you experience an error message, it may be faster for a firm to contact PRIMA support directly at [email protected], or call (919) 402-4502. Of course, even in these instances, we’ll be happy to submit a ticket to their support desk on your firm’s behalf.