Switching Technology in a Peer Review Year

Peer review. Why do firms shy away from implementing a new audit management solution in a peer review year? Is it because the firm thinks their audits:

  • Will lack quality due to the switch –or-
  • Will not follow all of the standards correctly

Maybe it is just fear of the unknown.

Yes. Fear of the unknown could be the reason. Consider this, though. It is actually possible to do three things at once.

  1. Implement a new audit management tool
  2. Receive a passing peer review in the same year
  3. Simultaneously increase audit quality

Firms have done it! They have done it with the help of Wolters Kluwer’s technology solution, CCH ProSystem fx Knowledge Coach. Two perfect examples are Millhuff-Stang and Withum Smith & Brown. In fact, when these two firms implemented Knowledge Coach, they both did it fully knowing that their next peer review was right around the corner.

Passing Peer Review – a Firm’s Perspective

To quote Natalie Millhuff-Stang, Principal and Founder of Millhuff-Stang CPA Inc. in Portsmouth, Ohio:

“We can definitely attribute part of our successful peer and quality assurance reviews directly to our use of Knowledge Coach. Both our peer and state reviewers were very impressed with our auditing processes and methodology. As a small firm that does a great deal of business with the government, receiving a perfect peer review and the top score from the state’s Quality Assurance Division gives us a competitive advantage when bidding for new audit work.”

Similarly, Jim Bourke, Partner at Withum Smith & Brown in New Jersey, says this about Knowledge Coach:

“Speaking of peer review, we implemented Knowledge Coach in a peer review year – and we passed. During the exit conference, I asked for any comments concerning our adoption and implementation of Knowledge Coach. The peer-review-team-leader stated that he noticed more consistency in the look and feel of our engagement files, regardless of office or niche associated.”

Passing Peer Review – a Peer Reviewer’s Perspective

Equally important to this conversation is the Peer Reviewer’s perspective of Knowledge Coach. Rob Cameron, of Cameron Smith & Co, conducts peer reviews each year. He notes seven common peer review deficiencies where Knowledge Coach helps.

  1. Improper documentation
  2. Improper audit planning
  3. Lack of effective communication among staff
  4. Inability to link program steps to identified risks
  5. Using an inappropriate risk level setting
  6. Improper documentation of a client’s internal controls
  7. Improper determination of planning materiality

Meeting Standards and Increasing Quality

Furthermore, another of the beauties of Knowledge Coach is that it is not checklist-based. It is true that many firms remain embedded in the checklist mentality. However, that could be because they mistakenly think that the checklist-based approach is the only way to ensure all standards are covered. That is simply not true, though. Here is what Jim Bourke of Withum has to say:

“Standards don’t say you have to use checklists. Knowledge Coach is a different process. Are the standards covered? Absolutely! The Knowledge Coach solution and all of the Knowledge Based Audit titles have gone through and passed the AICPA peer review process. All of the standards are covered. With Knowledge Coach, whether you are large or small, it is all about increasing audit quality and efficiency. The product evolves over time and is in tune with how standards change over time. Today we are well-positioned for the future, largely as a result of the technology solutions we are using – especially Knowledge Coach.”

In closing, Knowledge Coach is a key element of Wolters Kluwer’s Integrated Audit Approach. It is an iterative, auditor-led process, much like a GPS for auditors. This patented technology is award winning, and truly one of a kind. So, answer this. Do you agree with a large percentage of CPAs that say there is room for improvement in how they assess risk? If yes, then it is time for you to learn more.

Now is the Time to Change

To start your learning journey, watch this short video, and read the full stories mentioned in this blog.

Then, see the solution for yourself. Even if you have looked at it before, it will be worth your time to look at it again! Register for a complimentary demonstration of Knowledge Coach today.


Wendy Cable

Product Marketing Manager at Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting

All stories by: Wendy Cable