Types of Peer Reviews

Types of Reviews

System Review

This type of review is for firms that perform engagements under the Statement on Auditing Standards (SASs,) the Government Auditing Standards (Yellow Book), or examinations of prospective financial information under the Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAEs) or audits of non-SEC issuers performed pursuant to the standards of the PCAOB.

In a system review, the reviewer will study and evaluate a CPA firm's quality control policies and procedures that were in effect during the peer review year. This includes interviewing firm personnel and examining administrative files. To evaluate the effectiveness of the system and the degree of compliance with the system, the reviewer will test a reasonable cross-section of the firm's engagements with a focus on high-risk engagements in addition to significant risk areas where the possibility exists of engagements being performed and/or reported on that are not in accordance with professional standards in all material respects. The majority of the procedures in a System Review should be performed at the reviewed firm's office.

Engagement Review

This type of review is for firms that are not required to have a system review and only perform services under SSARS or services under the SSAEs not included in System Reviews.

The objective of an Engagement Review is to evaluate whether engagements submitted for review are performed and reported on in conformity with applicable professional standards in all material respects. An Engagement Review consists of reading the financial statements or information submitted by the reviewed firm and the accountant's report thereon, together with certain background information and representations and, except for compilation engagements performed under SSARS, the applicable documentation required by professional standards.