Under the statutes and rules of the Missouri Accountancy Act, which officially became law in August 2001, a number of laws related to the practice of accounting changed.
The provisions of the Missouri Accountancy Act are almost entirely that of the Uniform Accountancy Act, which is a model bill that has been passed in whole or in part by more than 40 states. The Uniform Accountancy Act was written by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) to create uniformity among state accountancy laws, as well as bring them in line with current practice.
Many firms are unaware of the critical provisions related to peer review and licensure of their firms.
Missouri Accountancy Law - Peer Review
Missouri Accountancy Law requires that all firms that provide any attest, review, or compilation services must be enrolled in an approved peer review program to ensure firm licensure. The law specifically states that within 90 days after entering into an engagement, a firm must enroll in the program.
Rules For The Missouri Accountancy Act
After the Missouri Accountancy Act became law in August 2001, the Missouri State Board of Accountancy worked to write the rules to enforce the new law. As always, implementation of a law involves changing rules and regulations and changing policy. The preparation of the rules and regulations for actual enforcement is called promulgation.
The promulgated rules and regulations for the Missouri UAA were officially approved by the state of Missouri on July 31, 2004.
The rules have been written into five chapters-each of which address key provisions of the law. All five chapters can be reviewed in their entirety on the Missouri State Board of Accountancy's website here.
Chapter 5-Peer Review
The fifth chapter clarifies the rules related to peer review as a condition for renewal of a firm license.
Standards: The AICPA Standards for Performing and Reporting on Peer Reviews will serve as the approved standards of Missouri's peer review process.
Who Needs Peer Review?: Effective January 1, 2008, any firm that engages to perform a single compilation will be required to comply with the peer review requirements.
Competency: Firms must verify that any CPA who is responsible for signing attest or review reports on behalf of the firm has met the competency requirements (as detailed in the promulgated rules of Chapter 2, Section 061) of firm licensure.
Peer Reviewers: Any CPA who responsible for signing peer review reports must hold a valid and active CPA license.
Multiple-Office Firms: The resident manager of each office located in Missouri or out of state must verify compliance with the same quality control policies and procedures of the office that has undergone peer review.
Administration: The MOCPA or another AICPA-approved peer review provider may serve as the administrative entity for peer review for Missouri firms.
Oversight: A Peer Review Oversight Board (PROB) has been appointed to assess the quality of peer review programs accepted by the Missouri State Board of Accountancy and provide a listing of firms that have participated in a peer review program that is deemed satisfactory to the Board. The PROB consists of five members, all of whom are Missouri licensed CPAs.
Peer Review Transparency
In 2004, the AICPA initiated a program to work toward the increased transparency of peer reviews. The AICPA recommends increased transparency, as it has always been a core principle of the CPA profession as it relates to clients' information.
The AICPA is focusing on two approaches that would lead to greater transparency. The first provides the public online access to selected peer review information, such as the report, letters of comments and response. The second would only allow state boards of accountancy to access peer review information.
Missouri's accountancy law currently maintains the confidentiality of all peer review information-prohibiting it from both the public and Missouri State Board of Accountancy.
The Missouri accountancy statute states:
To read the full Missouri statute, click here.
The Missouri State Board of Accountancy reports that they have no intention of changing this law. They report that peer reviews of Missouri CPA firms will remain confidential.
MOCPA is committed to keeping their members informed of the peer review transparency movement and will continue to work toward maintaining the best interests of its members and the profession in Missouri.
How MOCPA Can Help CPA Firms Comply With Peer Review Laws
MOCPA offers peer review resources to help promote and maintain high professional standards and ethics within the profession. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Tiffany Tocco at (800) 264-7966 or firstname.lastname@example.org.