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State Board Report

November 2015

Nine Boards of Accountancy now require firms to participate in the AICPA’s Facilitated State Board Access (FSBA) program as part of their license renewal process. This gives State Boards access to the firms’ peer review results. Plus there are 36 other Boards that require peer review for license renewal and are not prohibited from accessing the results, said AICPA Vice President Susan S. Coffey, leaving only 10 Boards that are unable to use the information available from the AICPA’s peer review program. A firm can "opt out" and not volunteer to make their peer review results available, but Ms. Coffey commented that should be a "red flag" for a Board to ask why that firm made that decision.

Under the FSBA program, the Board can get the firm’s peer review report, letter of response, corrective action letter and then, once complied with, all the corrective action. Since February 2015, AICPA has been posting the information for the most recent peer review and the prior one, Ms. Coffey said. If a firm is in a state that does not require peer review or that can’t review the results, the firm may still expand the FSBA so that other states can have access.

Oklahoma is one of the nine states where firms cannot opt out of the program, Janice L. Gray (OK), chair of the NASBA Compliance Assurance Committee stated, and it "streamlines the renewal process." It enables the Board to see if a firm has done audits before, and it lets the Board focus on those firms that either fail or pass with deficiencies. The Oklahoma Board will send a letter to a firm to let them know the Board is monitoring the steps the firm is taking to remedy concerns. E-mail notification is sent to the Board to allow them to know that a peer review report was recalled, and within 15 days the reports are pulled down from the AICPA site, Ms. Gray said. She advised Boards to check with their Attorney General to see if they can access or download information from FSBA.

The Compliance Assurance Committee has been encouraging all Boards to develop a Peer Review Oversight Committee (PROC) to have a vehicle to review the reports. PROC members have access to all the information given to the Report Acceptance Body (RAB) meetings they attend.

Ms. Coffey said the AICPA would work with Boards in states that have open records laws to enable them to have access to the peer review information without breaking its confidentiality.

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