Cyclical Monitoring by CPAs Ensures Financial Quality Control

Assurance Engagements Require Cyclical Monitoring

Quality control of the Cyclical monitoring of Ontario Chartered Professional Accountants (CPAs) establishes procedures of implementing and monitoring compliance with those QC policies. CPA firms providing assurance engagements require annual monitoring and cyclical inspection which are the key players in this process.

Cyclical inspection includes a periodic inspection consisting of at least one completed assurance engagement for each engagement partner, over a specified cycle of times. It must be completed by an individual who is independent of the specific engagement being studied. Often this requires the service of a CPA from another firm.

There are Various Levels of Assurance Engagements

This is all part of a CPA firm’s assurance duties. At its highest level it consists of an audit, which produces findings and results that are of the greatest value to an organization and its stakeholders. It gives credibility and knowledge for decisions going forward.

Reviews – such as a review engagement - give a moderate level of assurance for an organization's financial statements, again adding plausibility to those statements. A review engagement is considered a negative assurance, in that it is a declaration that an inspection has found nothing that makes them believe that a company’s statements are not in accordance with an applicable financial reporting framework.

Monitoring assignments can range from file inspection; cyclical file inspection; cyclical review or monitoring; external monitoring, third party inspection; and third party review.

Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) establish commonly followed accounting rules and standards for financial reporting.

Choose a Local Firm for Regional Work

The advent of the paperless office has bolstered the ability of locally-based firms to take on clients and review engagements further afield. For example, the St. Catharines-based firm Jones & O’Connell LLP carries out monitoring engagements throughout the entire Niagara Region, including St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Welland, Thorold and Niagara-on-the-Lake. In addition, the company works with clients who are spread out across the Golden Horseshoe and throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

In addition to monitoring work, a strong locally-based firm provides services to small businesses; self-employed family businesses; tax return preparation; and assistance with government reporting and compliance.

A non-certified accountant may be all a business requires to handle financial statements, analysis and bookkeeping. However, when tax advice and preparation are added into the mix, it is general practice to hire accountants who are certified and licensed. Look for a firm with partners and associations with a variety of skill sets and certifications, including Chartered Professional Accountants and Licensed Public Accountants.

Expertise in your area of business is also of benefit. The services required by different businesses can be extremely varied. Does the size of the firm allow for a team approach, with different individuals able to specialize in key areas of your requirements? Do you feel that the size of the firm is right for you to get the attention your business deserves? Again, look for a firm that handles clients from unincorporated businesses to publicly traded companies.

Referrals and word of mouth are also useful in finding CPAs who perform cyclical monitoring in Ontario.