Peer review means an examination and review of the systems and procedures to determine whether they have been put in place by the Practicing Unit for ensuring the quality of attestation services as envisaged and implied/mandated by the Technical Standards, Ethical Standards and Professional standards and whether these were effective or not during the period under review. The reputation and acceptability of a learned profession hinges on its ability to render the highest quality of services to the society. Towards this end, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is using the concept of peer review as a tool for enhancing the quality of services rendered by professional accountants. The Institute, recognizing the need to observe the best international practices, has established the system of peer review. Peer review helps in reassuring the stakeholders and the society at large that the profession is conscious of its responsibilities and is always striving to ensure that the highest standards are observed by all practicing members rendering audit and attestations services to the society.
The main objective of the peer review is to ensure that in carrying out their professional attestation services assignments, the Institute’s members in practice: (a) comply with the Technical Standards laid down by the Institute; and (b) have in place proper systems (including documentation systems) for maintaining the quality of the attestation services work they perform for their clients.
Peer Review Process has become more significant, pursuant to the recommendation of the ICAI to SEBI that from accounting periods commencing on or after April 1,2009, all Listed Companies would be audited by only those Firms/Practice Units that have been issued Peer Review Certificate by the Peer Review Board of the Institute.
Further, it is worth mentioning that Comptroller & Auditor General of India has recognized Peer Review Board’s work; as it seeks additional details from the Chartered Accountants firms about their Peer Review Status in the application form for allotment of audit for Public Sector Undertakings. Furthermore form last few years the C&AG annually seeks details from the Institute of those firms which have been issued certificate by the Peer Review Board.
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