The U.S. CPA profession always has been committed to quality and continuous improvement in the services it provides. The audit is at the core of CPA services that protect the public interest. Maintaining the audit’s value and relevance is essential to the profession’s continued success, and audit excellence drives that value and relevance.
On May 14, the AICPA released its 6-Point Plan to Improve Audits to reinforce the CPA profession’s long-standing commitment to audit quality. The action plan incorporates member and stakeholder feedback on the AICPA’s strategic thinking summarized in last summer’s Enhancing Audit Quality discussion paper. Presenting a roadmap for the profession, the 6-Point Plan seeks to improve audit performance in our constantly changing, complex business environment.
The 6-Point Plan concentrates on financial statement audits for U.S. private companies and includes a focus on specialized areas, specifically, audits of employee benefit plans and governmental entities. Agency inspections and findings from the profession’s Peer Review Program indicate that these areas are especially challenging for practitioners. A recently released Department of Labor report on employee benefit plan audit quality underscores the need for the profession to continue strengthening efforts to improve audits in this area.
A wide range of resources has been developed to help CPAs and firms participate in this journey to maintain audit excellence. Visit aicpa.org/auditquality for these and other resources, as well as new tools over the coming weeks and months:
- Video highlighting the 6-Point Plan
- Infographic summarizing the plan based on the stages of becoming and being an auditor
- Archive of the May 20 webcast on the 6-Point Plan
- Link to the new AICPA | CIMA Competency and Learning website’s employee benefit plan auditing competency framework (competency framework for governmental accounting and auditing, including Single Audit, coming this summer)
- Free downloads of SQCS 8 practice aids, with different versions based on firm size
- Peer Review emerging industries and risk areas
- Speech by Susan S. Coffey, AICPA Senior VP – Public Practice and Global Alliances, at the AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Conference on May 18
If you want more information or have questions about the Institute’s Enhancing Audit Quality effort, email [email protected].