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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