The American Institute of CPAs has released a report on its Enhancing Audit Quality initiative and how it is working on improving auditing practices.

The report describes the steps the AICPA has been taking in specific areas, including pre-licensure, standards and ethics, CPA learning and support, peer review, future practice monitoring, and enforcement.

The AICPA launched the EAQ initiative in 2014 (see AICPA Aims to Enhance Audit Quality for Public Companies). The initiative received further impetus when the U.S. Department of Labor raised concerns about the reliability of employee benefit plan audits (see AICPA Works on Fixing Employee Benefit Plan Audit Problems Ahead of Damaging Report). The new report discusses the Institute’s progress on the EAQ initiative since it released a 6-Point Plan to Improve Audits last year (see AICPA proposes six-point plan to improve audit performance).

Among the changes are reforms in the peer review process, a new competency and learning website, new areas of focus on the Uniform CPA Exam, and a new Assurance Research Advisory Group. On the enforcement side, the AICPA Professional Ethics Division is working with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and the Labor Department on an initiative that enables the AICPA Ethics Team and DOL to share investigative files with state boards of accountancy.

AICPA executive vice president for public practice Susan C. Coffey pointed to progress on the initiative in a preface to the report.

“While we’ve achieved a great deal in this first year, there is still much more to do,” she acknowledged. “Ultimately, audit quality results from a profession-wide dedication to continuous improvement and evolution. The profession has taken significant steps to keep pace with the expectations and demands to protect the public.”

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