Many companies and organizations are required to undergo some type of attestation service each year (compilation, review, or audit). As part of this process, many times bids are solicited from different firms in order to find the best deal, which, from a Board Member’s perspective, usually means the cheapest price. As a former Board Member and Treasurer of Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity, I understand the desire to cut expenses as much as possible.
However, cheaper is usually not better. In order to perform attest services in Texas, a CPA firm must enroll in the AICPA Peer Review Program and be subject to an independent review of their attestation practice every three years. As a Peer Reviewer through the Texas Society of CPA’s and the AICPA, I see firsthand how many firms will charge significantly less for the same service but not perform the work in accordance with professional standards. Therefore, when going out for bids, I recommend that Board Members perform the following due diligence in order to make sure they are getting a high-quality CPA firm:
1. AICPA Peer Review Public Report
Obtain a copy of the firm’s most recent peer review report from the AICPA Peer Review Public File. A CPA firm can receive either a pass, pass with deficiencies, or fail report. Both the pass with deficiencies and fail reports are considered to be substandard and require corrective action by the firm.
2. Industry Relevant Experience
Ask the firm how much experience they have in the particular industry they are bidding on. Is this their only attestation service in this area? In addition, is this an area that requires specialized knowledge (specifically employee benefit plans or Single Audits)?
3. Check For Corrective Action or Monitoring
Is the firm currently undergoing any kind of corrective action or monitoring by the State Society or State Board of Public Accountancy?
4. Continuing Education
What kind of continuing education does the attestation personnel receive each year?
Expertise You Can Trust
Bumgardner Morrison is a full-service CPA firm that performs attestation services to clients of many different industries including employee benefit plans, electric cooperatives, financial institutions, non-profit organizations, nonpublic companies, and governmental entities. Three of our partners perform peer reviews on other CPA firms throughout the State of Texas. Please contact us today if you would like more information on any of the services that we provide.
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Mike joined BumgardnerMorrison in 1983 and currently serves as partner to the CPA firm and as champion partner to the Wealth Management firm. He is responsible for audit, assurance and tax services and specializes in working with financial institutions and agriculture cooperatives. Mike has passed the FINRA Series 7 and Series 66 exams and holds the Texas Resident Life and Health Insurance license. He offers additional value to clients by providing wealth management services. He believes that every question deserves attention and an answer, and wants clients to be comfortable voicing concerns throughout the entire planning process.
Mike attended Southwest Texas State University, where he received his Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting. After graduation, he worked for a national CPA firm in Houston for two years. Professional organizations in which he is actively involved include the Texas Society of CPAs and the Victoria Chapter of the TSCPA. He has served as financial advisor for the Our Lady of Victory School advisory council, and coached basketball at OLV School for many years. Mike and his wife, Mary, love spending time with their family of seven children and ten grandchildren. He also enjoys sports, especially basketball, and his faith.
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