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The 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 or compilation services1/ will need to complete a peer review within the three years immediately preceding the firm's registration renewal deadline.
a helpful hint Helpful Hints - A.R.S. § 32-701 defines “attest services" as the following services to be performed 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 (AICPA).
  b)   Reviews of financial statements to be performed in accordance with the Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services adopted by AICPA.
  c)   Any examination of prospective financial information to be performed in accordance with the statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements adopted by the AICPA.
  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 AICPA, other than an examination described in subdivision (c) of this paragraph.
  a helpful hint Helpful Hint – A.R.S. § 32-701 defines "compilation services" as providing a service of any compilation engagement to be performed in accordance with the statements on standards for accounting and review services.

1/Firms that performed non-disclosure compilations for financial statements with a period ending before January 1, 2018 are not subject to peer review.
   
 What do I do if this is my firm’s first peer review?  
  Pursuant to A.A.C. R4-1-454(H), the firm must notify the Board within 90 days after accepting an attest services engagement or compilation service engagement and shall enroll in a Board-approved peer review program with a due date, in compliance with the Standards for Performing and Reporting on Peer Reviews of 18 months from the year-end of the initial engagement accepted. For example, if the engagement’s year end is 12/31/17, the firm must complete a peer review by 6/30/19.

If this is your firm’s first time enrolling in peer review, contact the California Society of CPAs (CSCPA) at (800) 922-5272, extension 2, to enroll. 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(H), 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?  
  A.A.C. R4-1-454(A)(4) allows the Board to grant, upon written request and demonstration of good cause (disability, illness, physical or mental condition, military service, natural disaster, or board deemed relevant condition/circumstance), an extension of time to complete the peer review. Please note that financial hardship is not considered good cause. If you'd like to request an extension, please fill out the following Peer Review Extension Request Form. The request will be reviewed by the Board at its earliest available Board meeting, after which you will receive the Board’s response.

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 What peer review documents need to be submitted?  
  Pursuant to A.A.C. R4-1-454(A)(1), firms shall submit a copy of the results of their most recently accepted peer review to the Board by their firm registration due date or Board-approved extension date which includes the following documents:
  1. Peer review report which has been accepted by the sponsoring organization;
  2. Firm’s letter of response accepted by the sponsoring organization, if applicable;
  3. Completion letter from the sponsoring organization;
  4. Letter(s) accepting the documents signed by the firm with the understanding that the firm agrees to take any actions required by the sponsoring organization, if applicable;
  5. Letter signed by the sponsoring organization, notifying the firm that required actions have been appropriately completed, if applicable.
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 What is Facilitated State Board Access?  
  The Facilitated State Board Access (FSBA) is a process that addresses the demand for greater peer review transparency. This is a program that the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) created to help the profession keep up with the evolving changes in the business and regulatory environments.

For firms whose peer reviews are scheduled before January 1, 2018, the firm shall submit peer review documents directly to the Board. For firms whose peer reviews are scheduled after January 1, 2018, the firm must allow the sponsoring organization (California Society of CPAs) to make the peer review documents accessible to the Board via the FSBA process.

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 What happens if my firm is reorganized?  
  Pursuant to A.A.C. R4-1-454(I), firms that reorganize a current firm, rename a firm, or create a new firm, within which at least one of the prior CPA owners remains an owner or employee, shall remain subject to the provisions of this Section. If a firm is merged, combined, dissolved, or separated, the sponsoring organization (CalCPA) shall determine which resultant firm shall be considered the succeeding firm. The succeeding firm shall retain its peer review status and the review due date.

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