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What Could a Next-Generation Peer Review Program Look Like?

The computer scientist and tech pioneer Alan Kay once said: “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” That’s been the mantra in Silicon Valley for 40 years. Inventing the future is the opportunity the CPA profession has today with the release of the concept paper Evolving the CPA Profession’s Peer Review Program for the Future: A provocative vision of what practice monitoring could become.

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.

This video provides a quick overview.




What we’re envisioning is no less thought-provoking than the original practice monitoring program the profession introduced in the 1970s. We’ve developed a concept that sparks conversation around where assurance practice is going and how we might better detect and correct issues on a more real-time basis.   

What if the profession developed a practice monitoring program that provides an early warning system such that firms can quickly detect and correct engagement issues? What if the system could send a “Bat-Signal,” alerting external support to step in and help firms when they fail to take action? How could the integration of technology, continuous analytic evaluation and human review help firms detect risk and quality issues early enough for them to be remedied before the engagement is completed?  

Read the concept paper at aicpa.org/futurepracticemonitoring and be a part of the conversation. Whatever you imagine, share your ideas with us. Build on the concept, or give us your own approach. 

Working together, we’ll invent a future with a practice monitoring model that elevates the profession’s drive toward quality and protects the public interest.

Susan S. Coffey, CPA, CGMA, Senior Vice President – Public Practice and Global Alliances, American Institute of CPAs.


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