I have read with interest the recent columns in Accounting Today by Lou Grumet (Sept. 26-Oct. 9, 2005, page 6, and Nov. 7-27, 2005, page 6), and applaud his efforts and those of others in New York to suggest improvements to peer review. As states like New York research how to implement a mandatory peer review requirement, it is critical that state boards and state societies form an effective partnership to carry out such a program for the good of the public and, in turn, for the good of the profession.The history of peer review bears this out. Peer review was initially developed as a membership requirement for the American Institute of CPAs and some state societies. It was a commendable first step by the profession to improve quality of practice, but over time, many in the profession realized that only a requirement mandated by statute would ensure that all CPAs would comply and, in turn, adequately protect the public.
Today, 39 states require peer review in some form as a mandatory requirement for re-licensure; however, New York is not one of them. While I am sure there are many CPAs and CPA firms in New York that undergo peer review as part of the voluntary membership program, what about those who are not AICPA members? Only a mandatory program will subject them to review. I hope New York will move quickly to add such a statutory requirement.
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