The American Institute of CPAs has begun publicizing the revised set of peer review standards that it quietly issued earlier this year.The new standards are designed to be more principles-based and less of a checklist-based process than older peer review standards. A key difference is the elimination of letters of comment and the old three-tier system of unmodified, modified and adverse grades given to firms by reviewers. The new standards require a simple grade of “pass,” “pass with deficiencies” or “fail.”

The new reports are designed to be more user-friendly by clarifying whether a firm has satisfactorily designed a quality control system and is complying with it. The reports will also make clear whether a firm has deficiencies in that system or whether it has no system at all.

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