Sometimes we get so caught up in our own world we forget that not everyone is interested or has kept up with the changes that have taken place around them. Some call and ask questions, but what is scary are the people who don’t know and don’t call.
As the Peer Review and Member Services Manager, I started my employment with SCACPA just about the same time that the SC Board of Accountancy mandated peer review for all firms in South Carolina that provided attest services (with the exception of SSARs 8 for management use only documents). Letters were sent out, notices were posted on the SCACPA and Board of Accountancy websites, articles were written in newsletters, and firms that were not AICPA members began to enroll in peer review.
During that transition to mandatory peer review, hundreds of calls and emails poured in with questions from firms that had not participated in peer review. That transition has not been without its growing pains because just over a year ago the AICPA made a major computer conversion from an AS 400 – DOS based program to PRISM (Peer Review Information System Management) a windows platform that is still evolving, being updated and changing even as I write this blog.
With all that being said since peer review only happens every three years, if it’s not your year for peer review, you may not be concerned about it, which is human nature. As you may know, a lot of people don’t worry about their taxes until it gets to be the first of the year. Then it’s, “Oh my, it’s time to get all my stuff together and get it to my CPA shoe box in hand!”
Along with the computer conversion, AIPCA made changes to the peer review program for reviews commencing on or after January 1, 2009. Some of the changes were significant. For example, a rating of “Pass” is now the term used for a “clean” review. If your firm is due to have a peer review the latter part of this year, or in 2012, don’t wait until you get your letter from me requesting your firm’s background information to begin preparing for your review. Instead, plan to attend the Upcoming Peer Review: Is Your Firm Ready? course July 21, 2011 at the SCACPA office. I don’t mind trying to answer your questions and will try to do so to the best of my ability, but Mark Hobbs, CPA does a much better job preparing you for the review process and what you can do in advance to be prepared.
It’s like the old saying, “There are no stupid questions, it’s only stupid if you don’t ask.”
Blogger: Glenna Minor, Membership and Peer Review Director, South Carolina Association of CPAs