by Ann Deegan, MSCPA President
I recently attended my first “official” AICPA Council meeting as President of MSCPA, a great opportunity that comes with serving as your MSCPA President.
During the council meetings we heard a lot of updates from AICPA staff & task force leaders who are addressing some of the many issues & challenges facing our profession.
I want to touch on one of the issues that is currently at the forefront–“Raising the Profession’s Quality Factor”. Jane & I attended a breakout session on this issue. These breakout sessions are a great way to talk with professionals from across the country and from firms of various sizes & areas of practice, in small round-table discussion format.
The Peer Review program has been around for over 30 years. It is currently facing some tough questions related to the effectiveness of the program, as our profession is being challenged on the quality of audits being performed. Audit standard complexity is creating application challenges. I think most of us agree, if we don’t do a good job of self-monitoring, we will ultimately be subject to more government monitoring.
Unfortunately, one of the toughest challenges comes from those who don’t accurately complete their engagement reporting form, thus they are not being reviewed on some of their high-risk engagements. The system doesn’t work if the participants are not playing by the rules.
A lot of discussions centered on various problems participants have been seeing. The ACIPA Task Force is now faced with proposing possible solutions to those problems. One topic that came up repeatedly is the need for better communication between the Peer Reviewers & the State Boards of Accountants.
Stay tuned—this issue is going to continue to be at the forefront of AICPA discussions as we all continue to Strive for Quality in the Profession. To quote one of our conference speakers, “There are risks & costs to action, but far less than the cost of comfortable inaction.”