The following process is followed during a practice review:
- Questionnaires: The firm is notified by email that it has been selected for practice review and will be asked to complete a Scheduling Questionnaire and Tax Management Questionnaire. If the firm is a non-assurance office, it will also be asked to complete a Confidential Client List used for file selection.
- Schedule Dates/Times: Once the firm has returned the Scheduling Questionnaire, it is reviewed to determine the length of the time needed to conduct the review. The firm will then be contacted by the Practice Review Coordinator to schedule the dates(s) for the review.
- These general procedures will be followed before and during the office visit:
- Firm review of report: Copies of the Draft Practice Review Report will be forwarded to the firm for review from the Associate Director of Practice Review in advance of presentation to the Practice Review Committee. Prior to submitting the report to the Committee, the firm must acknowledge the contents by completing the online declaration in the CPA Alberta portal by the specified deadline.
The Committee encourages members to submit written comments concerning the content of the Draft Practice Review Report. There may also be times when a response from the firm is required and this will be noted in the report. The Committee considers both the Draft Practice Review Report and the firm’s comments when forming its assessment of the firm.
- Committee Assessment: The report is presented to the Committee in a manner which protects the identity of the firm, its members and clients. The Committee makes the decision regarding adherence to professional standards. The Committee may reject, modify or accept the recommendation concerning compliance by the reviewer. The Committee may also request additional information from the firm prior to making its final assessment.
- Committee Decision and Recommendations: The firm will be notified of the Committee's decision and recommendations.
- Canadian Public Accountability Board notified (if required): Firms registered with the Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB) with reporting issuer clients will have their Practice Review Report sent to the CPAB directly from the Practice Review Committee.
- Retained and destroyed files: The Practice Review Report, Decision Letter, Scheduling Questionnaire and Tax Management Questionnaire are retained for a period of four years once a firm has been found to comply and practice review fees are paid. All other working papers, detailed notes, client lists, etc. are destroyed after one year.
- Follow-up scheduled (if required): For firms receiving a non-comply decision, a follow-up Practice Review will be scheduled usually within 12 months of the initial practice review visit. The time frame is at the discretion of the Practice Review Committee.
Tips for a Successful Practice Review
Firms that are compliant generally:
- Encourage members to attend professional development courses
- Are aware of events within the profession
- Are aware of revisions to the CPA Canada Handbook
- Have adequate working paper file documentation
- Maintain a strong system of quality management
- Prepare for the practice review by maintaining high standards of practice on a continual basis
- Have a cooperative attitude that makes the process more time and cost efficient for both parties
If you have any questions or require further information prior to your practice review, please contact the Associate Director of Practice Review at email@example.com.