Peer review

Peer Review Revision Finalized

T he American Institute of CPAs peer review board will implement several key changes in its revised Standards for Performing and Reporting on Peer Reviews ( AICPA Professional Standards , vol. 2, PR section 100). The most significant changes in the exposure draft remain, with little or no change, in the final version. These include

  • Requiring a firm that performs any type of engagement covered by statements on auditing standards to have an onsite peer review.

  • Expanding the definition of an accounting and auditing practice for peer review purposes to include attestation services on financial information when the firm audits, reviews or compiles historical financial statements of the client.

  • Implementing a risk-based approach to peer review engagement selection.

  • Resolving inconsistencies between onsite and offsite reviews in determining yearends.

  • Allowing the peer review team captain to review another firm an unspecified number of times instead of limiting reviews to only two consecutive times.

(Details were outlined in "Peer Review Reform," JofA, Sept.96) R. Bruce Brasell, AICPA peer review technical manager, said the ED comments were generally supportive, with little major criticism.

A key change, according to Brasell, is in the effective date. Originally, the standard was to be effective for all peer reviews that commenced on or after January 1, 1997. The final effective date, however, is for peer review years beginning on or after January 1, 1997. Brasell said this postponement was to give practitioners more time to familiarize themselves with the new standard. The AICPA is working on explanatory courses for both team captains and firms that receive reviews, which will be offered through state CPA societies.

To order the AICPA Standards for Performing and Reporting on Peer Reviews (product no. 067021JA), call the order department at 800-862-4272. The changes also will appear in the AICPA Peer Review Program Manual .

New York CPA Wins Tax Award

T he AICPA tax division has given its Arthur J. Dixon Memorial Award to Arthur S. Hoffman of New York City. The award, presented at the AICPAs annual fall tax conference, is the accounting professions highest honor in taxation.

Hoffman (left), is a partner of Goldstein, Golub, Kessler & Co. Currently a member of the AICPA council and the relations with the bar committee, he is a past chairman of the AICPA tax division executive committee. Presenting the award is AICPA vice chairman Stuart Kessler, also a partner at Goldstein, Golub, Kessler & Co.

The award was established in Dixons honor after his death in 1981. Dixon was chairman of the tax executive committee from 1977 to 1980. He and Hoffman had been partners at Oppenheim, Appel, Dixon & Co.

High Honors for Three CPAs

T he Accounting Hall of Fame has announced three inductees for 1996. Established in 1950, the Hall of Fame, located at Ohio State University, honors accountants who have made significant contributions to the advancement of accounting in the 20th century.


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In focus: Payroll

Providing payroll services that comply with ever-changing regulations and meet evolving employee and employer demands is no easy task. Paychex's Tom Hammond discusses common payroll considerations for CPA firms.