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Following are frequently asked questions about the peer review process:

 
 
 
 Is my firm subject to a peer review?  
  Pursuant to A.A.C. R4-1-454, all firms performing attest services (A.R.S. § 32-701(3)) or full-disclosure compilation services will need to complete a peer review within the three years immediately preceding the firm's registration renewal deadline. Services subject to peer review include, but are not limited to:
  • Audits of historical or prospective financial statements
  • Reviews of historical or prospective financial statements
  • Full-disclosure compilations of historical or prospective financial statements
    Definition of Attest Services
    A.R.S. § 32-701(3) defines “attest services" as the following services rendered by the holder of a certificate issued by the Board:
    (a) Audits or other engagements to be performed in accordance with the statements on auditing standards adopted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
    (b) Reviews of financial statements to be performed in accordance with the statements on standards for accounting and review services adopted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
    (c) Any examination of prospective financial information to be performed in accordance with the statements on standards for attestation engagements adopted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
    (d) Any engagement to be performed in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board or its successor.
    (e) Any examination, review or agreed on procedure engagement to be performed in accordance with the statements on standards for attestation engagements adopted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, other than an examination described in subdivision (c) of this paragraph.
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 What if my firm only provides non-disclosure compilation services?   Our forms are in Adobe Acrobat (pdf) format. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to view and print these forms. Click the Adobe logo to download a free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Some forms allow you to fill them out on-screen and print them, however, you cannot save them. It will be necessary to fill the form out each time it is opened.

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  Pursuant to A.A.C. R4-1-454(B), if the only services performed by a firm involving financial statements are non-disclosure compilation services (not subject to peer review), the Board shall request, on a random basis, that the firm provide documentation to the Board, which will enable the Peer Review Oversight Advisory Committee to conduct an educational enhancement review.

The Peer Review Oversight Advisory Committee (PROAC) has published the following Matters for Further Consideration (MFC) list in an attempt to assist firms subject to an Educational Enhancement Review (EER) . The MFC list addresses the most common findings discovered by PROAC during the EER and is broken down into four categories: Reporting, Presentation, Scope and SSARS No. 8.

Matters for Further Consideration (MFC) list
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 What do I do if this is my firm’s first peer review?  
  If a firm accepts its first engagement, which will require the firm to complete a peer review, pursuant to A.A.C. R4-1-454(I)(2)(b):
  • The firm must notify the Board within 90 days after accepting a restricted financial service or full-disclosure compilation service;
  • The firm will undergo a peer review within 18 months from the year end of the engagement accepted (for example, if the engagement’s year end is 12/31/08, the firm must undergo a peer review by 6/30/2010).
If this is your firm’s first time registering for peer review, contact the California Society of CPAs (CSCPA) at 1 (800) 922-5272, extension 2, to register. After registering with CSCPA, they will provide you with a list of peer reviewers. The Board does not provide a list of reviewers.
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 How do I request a peer review exemption for my firm?  
  Pursuant to A.A.C. R4-1-454(I), a CPA firm is exempt from the requirements of peer review if the firm submits to the Board written verification that it meets at least one of the exemption requirements. The following link to the affidavit is to be used to meet this requirement.

Peer Review Exemption Affidavit
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 How do I request an extension for submitting my firm's peer review?  
  The Board’s rules [A.A.C. R4-1-454(A)(2)] provides guidance on how to request from the Board an extension of time for completing a firm’s peer review. That request, however, must meet the “good cause” parameters as laid out in A.R.S. § 32-701(15). If you wish to request an extension of time for submission of your firm’s peer review, submit a written request to the Board outlining the reasons for the extension, attaching any supporting documentation you feel necessary to support your claim. The request will then be reviewed by the Board at its earliest convenience, after which you will receive the Board’s response to your request.

A.A.C. R4-1-454(A)(2) The Board may grant, upon a written request and demonstration of good cause, excluding financial hardship pursuant to A.R.S. § 32-701(15)(e), an extension of time for completing the peer review or submitting the peer review report to the Board.

A.R.S.§ 32-701(15) "Good cause" means factors that temporarily prevent a registrant from satisfying a particular requirement in a specific instance as determined by the board and may include:
          (a) A disability.
          (b) An illness.
          (c) A physical or mental condition.
          (d) Military service.
          (e) Financial hardship.
          (f) A natural disaster.
          (g) Any condition or circumstance that the board deems relevant.
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 How will the new peer review process affect Arizona CPAs?  
  The Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants published in their November 2009 AZCPA issue that CPAs will continue to use the current peer review process until the State Board of Accountancy takes action and the law changes.

The Facilitated State Board Access (FSBA) is a new process that will address the demand for greater peer review transparency. This is a program that the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) has created to help the profession keep up with the evolving changes in the business and regulatory environments.

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