The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) issued non-authoritative guidance in the form of Technical Questions & Answers (TQA) for CPA firms performing third-party assessment engagements. Q&A Section 9550, Performing a Third-Party Assessment Engagement Under a Third Party Assessment Program, at .01 and .02, outlines the steps practitioners should follow when conducting these engagements.
Third-Party Assessment Engagements
“It is in the public interest that CPA firms perform third party assessment engagements,” said Jennifer Burns, CPA, chair of the AICPA Third-Party Assessments Working Group and incoming AICPA chief auditor. “These TQAs provide needed clarity on how CPA firms may perform this work today under current AICPA professional standards. Members of AICPA’s Assurance Services Executive Committee (ASEC), Auditing Standards Board (ASB), Professional Ethics Executive Committee (PEEC), related working groups, and AICPA staff were instrumental in providing input on the development of these TQAs and I thank them for their collaboration.”
Technical Questions & Answers
The TQAs emphasize that practitioners need to comply with the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct and the requirements or instructions of the third-party assessment program. It also addresses two questions:
- What is a third-party assessment program?
- Which professional standards is the member required to apply to the third-party assessment engagement?
The guidance clarifies when the practitioner is required to perform the assessment engagement in accordance with AICPA Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements and also states that the Statement on Standards for Consulting Services may be applied. Further, it reminds practitioners of the various independence requirements that apply when performing third-party assessment engagements.
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