Thomson Reuters has introduced a consulting service to help accounting firms comply with new requirements for review engagements.

The company’s AuditWatch Productivity Locator for Review Engagements consulting service addresses the new requirements in Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services 19 to improve the quality and efficiency of engagement reviews. SSARS 19, from the AICPA’s Accounting and Review Services Committee, is the most substantial revision to the standards since 1978, and includes expanded requirements for engagement letters, the extent of client knowledge required, documentation, and reporting. SSARS 19 is in effect for compilation and review reports on financial statements for periods ending on or after Dec. 15, 2010.

The AuditWatch Productivity Locator for Review Engagements helps accounting firms comply with SSARS 19 requirements. Experienced AuditWatch consultants analyze engagement files and provide a diagnostic assessment that identifies best practices and opportunities for improvement.

“We’re committed to addressing emerging industry and regulatory changes and supporting the continuing need to improve effectiveness,” said Ken Koskay, head of the certification business within the Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters, in a statement. “The development of our productivity locator is an example of our commitment to the audit industry.”

As part of the service, consultants from Thomson Reuters will examine two of a firm’s review engagement files and look for opportunities to improve quality, efficiency and consistency. The consultants then communicate their findings to review practitioners at a firm via a Web-based conference call and provide feedback in the areas of planning and risk assessment, engagement management, inquiries, analytical procedures, avoidance of unnecessary procedures, review of evidence and documentation, differentiation between bookkeeping procedures and review procedures, and other quality and efficiency topics

The program is designed to aid review practitioners and firm leadership in recognizing, framing, and prioritizing the opportunities for improvement that exist within review engagements.

For more information, visit the AuditWatch Web site.

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