The American Institute of CPAs has launched the third of its planned Audit Quality Centers.

The latest firm-based, voluntary membership center focuses on governmental audits, including audits of federal, state, and local governments, not-for-profit organizations, and certain for-profit entities that participate in government programs or receive governmental financial assistance.

The trio of Audit Quality Centers was approved by the AICPA's Governing Council in the fall of 2003. The other centers, launched earlier this year, focus on public company audits and employee benefit plan audits.

The mission of the Governmental Audit Quality Center is to raise awareness about the importance of governmental audits; serve as a comprehensive resource provider on governmental audits for member firms; create a community of firms that demonstrates a commitment to governmental audit quality; provide members with an online forum tool for sharing best practices as well as discussions on audit, accounting, and regulatory issues; list member firms to enable purchasers of governmental audit services to identify firms that are members and provide information about the Center's activities to other governmental audit stakeholders.

For more information on the Governmental Audit Quality Center, visit www.aicpa.org/gaqc

"The center is intended to make a direct statement to members of our profession about the importance of their audit performance," said Susan Coffey, AICPA vice president, audit quality and professional ethics. "The Center will give members the tools they need to adhere to a high standard of quality. It will also be a place where firms dedicated to quality governmental audits will share best practices, learn about emerging issues, and take steps to enhance quality in their practices."

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