If a client came to you 10 years ago with an innovative idea for a new product, such as a winter coat that is warmer and lighter than any other on the market—you might say “Great idea. How will you fund development of a prototype?” Back then seeking funding was not yet a simple task. But in 2016, there are myriad crowdfunding sites available to help would-be entrepreneurs take their ideas and make them a reality. As a CPA, you are in a position to help ensure your client seeks this funding properly and in a fiscally responsible manner.
You may not yet be familiar with the rules and regulations surrounding crowdfunding, but the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission released new rules in May. These guidelines, along with revisions last year to the existing Regulation A rules, expand the opportunities for small business capital raising by simplifying requirements for small businesses to access the capital markets. Both rules were issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.
Two years ago, based on input from the AICPA’s governing Council, a task force sanctioned by the Board of Directors began exploring ways to raise the Peer Review Program’s current practice monitoring efforts to even higher levels of relevance, strength and effectiveness.
Developed with research and input from various stakeholders, the concept paper offers a glimpse into practice monitoring with a futuristic view. The paper asks us all to imagine the possibilities of what practice monitoring might look like in the next 5 to 10 years and beyond.
As part of its on-going commitment to helping members maintain and enhance audit quality and to improve the consistency of quality across the profession, the AICPA recently launched the Enhancing Audit Quality Initiative. Because of the critical nature of the initiative, the AICPA Peer Review Team will take immediate action on two facets of the initiative: identifying emerging industries and high priority audit areas and applying a combination of outreach, training, and robust peer reviews in these industries and areas.
The Peer Review Team has developed a list of potential “deep dive areas” or emerging industries and risk areas, derived through careful analysis of the following:
Successful organizations know the importance of learning from the past while, at the same time, looking forward. For the past 25 years, the AICPA Peer Review Program has helped firms do just that by evaluating firms’ accounting and auditing practices and providing them with opportunities for improvement through combined educational and remedial aspects.
The core value of the Peer Review Program is self-regulation. Aside from allowing CPAs to learn effective practice techniques from one another, self-regulation comes with many other benefits that positively affect firms, clients, the profession and the public, including:
Monitoring adherence to the highest professional standards;
Uncovering and helping to correct firm service deficiencies and inefficiencies; and
Educating reviewed firms in professional standards and sharing best practices.
When performing peer reviews, reviewers document the
areas in which firms struggle to comply with professional standards. The AICPA Peer
Review Team compiles and periodically communicates these common areas of
noncompliance so that other firms won’t make the same mistakes. This is just
one of the many ways in which peer review benefits the profession.
the past few months, peer reviewers have reported that firms failed to properly
assess risk and properly document IT risk assessments. Some of the most common
areas of noncompliance with the risk assessment standards are listed below,
along with some advice to help your firm prevent the same mistakes.