Peer Review For CPA Firms Without AICPA Members

The AICPA allows entities administering the AICPA Peer Review Program (AICPA Program) to use the AICPA Standards for Performing and Reporting on Peer Reviews (Standards) and related guidance to develop state CPA society peer review programs for firms without an AICPA member to meet licensing requirements. Consequently, many entities that administer the AICPA Program are running two programs using the same Standards. Administering dual programs is burdensome for the administering entity (AE) and has caused confusion because, while not widely recognized, the state CPA society programs are not a part of the AICPA Program.

Because of this and other considerations, the AICPA Peer Review Board (PRB) approved a change to the Standards to allow firms (and individuals) without AICPA members to enroll in the AICPA Program beginning in 2017. Following this change, many AEs have discontinued offering a state program.

The expansion to the AICPA Program’s enrollment eligibility will increase consistency, efficiency and effectiveness in performing and administering peer reviews. Further, these objectives align with the AICPA’s Enhancing Audit Quality (EAQ) initiative to improve audit performance.

This page provides information and resources about the AICPA Program to firms (and individuals) without AICPA members.

The AICPA has developed fair procedures for firms (and individuals) to accommodate those with and without AICPA members. However, there are some unavoidable differences in how the AICPA Program is administered for each type due to the AICPA Bylaws and membership requirements, applicable only to AICPA members.

These differences are primarily encountered if the firm’s (or individual’s) enrollment in the AICPA Program is terminated for failure to cooperate with the peer reviewer, administering entity and the PRB in all matters related to the peer review and are summarized here:

Our shared goal of enhancing audit quality for all members of the profession is best achieved through a consistent, efficient AICPA Program that regulators, the public – and firms – can use and rely on. By having all peer reviews administered under the AICPA Program, each peer review will be subject to the same oversight procedures, including the new enhanced oversight program, thereby raising the quality of all firms’ A&A practices, not just firms with AICPA members. 

The AICPA also aims to make the transition from state CPA society programs to the AICPA Program as smooth as possible. Therefore, if your firm’s most recent peer review was administered by an entity (typically state CPA societies) approved by the AICPA Peer Review Board (PRB), there will be no change to the timing of your peer review (see guidance at Interpretation 13-1) or your administering entity.

It is important to note that firms (or individuals) that enroll in the AICPA Program are not required to become members of the AICPA.

However, by becoming an AICPA member, you’ll have access to wider AICPA Benefits such as member discounts, networking opportunities, professional development and publications on recent developments of the accounting profession. You will also have access to all the peer review engagement checklists instead of only the monitoring checklists.

Enroll in the AICPA Peer Review Program by logging in to PRIMA. Access Getting Started in PRIMA to learn how to log in.

If a firm's Peer Review has commenced, a firm may be terminated for non-cooperation. For more details, please see the rules of procedures.

Additional Peer Review Resources

Peer Review Change Form

Are You Ready for Your Peer Review? (On-demand course – 4.5 CPE credits)
Gain an understanding of the peer review process and learn what you can do to prepare for your next peer review.

Guide to Hiring a Quality Peer Reviewer

QCM Review Results

Peer Review Frequently Asked Questions 

Contact the Peer Review Team