The Practice Review program fulfills a mandatory requirement for CPA Alberta to review all registered professional accounting firms (PAFs) and professional services providers (PSPs) who perform assurance, auditing and compilation engagements, as well as tax services, while providing an educational experience to members and firms.
The objective of a practice review is to protect the public by assessing the firm's compliance with professional standards and, in instances of non-compliance, to take appropriate follow-up or remedial action.
The purpose of a practice review is to determine whether the practice of a professional accounting firm (PAF) or professional service provider (PSP):
- Complies with the standards set out in the CPA Canada Handbook - Accounting and Assurance and the CPA Canada Public Sector Accounting Handbook;
- Complies with the standards of practice as set out in the CPA Alberta Rules of Professional Conduct;
- Maintains sufficiently high standards in regards to generally accepted standards in the profession;
- Complies, where appropriate, with the minimum standards for firms that are Pre-approved Program Route Providers that employ CPA Candidates, and;
- Adheres to the identified tax practice standards as approved by the CPA Alberta Board.
The scope of the practice review covers primarily the assurance and accounting practice of the firm and its system of providing of tax services. Other services such as bankruptcy or management advisory services are not directly encompassed by the review, except to the extent that they are associated with professional standards.
Quality control policies and procedures adopted by a firm provide reasonable evidence that assurance, non-assurance, tax service and other engagements are carried out in accordance with the standards set out in the CPA Canada Handbook, CPA Canada Public Sector Accounting Handbook, CPA Alberta Rules of Professional Conduct, tax standards approved by the CPA Alberta Board, and other general standards of the profession.
Practice reviews are primarily intended to evaluate whether a firm's quality control policies and procedures for its accounting, assurance, non-assurance and tax services are appropriately comprehensive and suitably designed. A professional accounting firm or professional service provider may find it useful to document its quality control procedures prior to the practice review.