The majority of audit, review/attestation and compilation engagements of local government and quasi-public organizations in Louisiana (local auditees) are performed by CPA firms that have been approved by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor (LLA).
In order to ensure the quality of these engagements, and the credentials of the CPA firms performing them, LLA requires CPA firms to provide certain information prior to initial approval of the firm.
All requests to approve a new CPA firm are sent to LLA’s Engagement Manager. The following information must be provided to the Engagement Manager to approve a new CPA firm:
· A written confirmation that the firm understands that engagements of local auditees are to be performed in accordance with all applicable standards and the provisions of the Louisiana Governmental Audit Guide.
· A written confirmation that the firm has reviewed the independence standards of Government Auditing Standards and the Louisiana Governmental Audit Guide, and understands that they will not be able to supply prohibited nonaudit services to a local auditee client, nor be politically involved with the management of a local auditee client.
· A copy of the firm’s most recent peer review report, to include any letter of comments, findings for further consideration, or other deficiencies issued in conjunction with the peer review, and the acceptance letter from the peer review administering entity.
· The scheduled date of the firm’s next peer review.
· If the firm has not received its first peer review, a copy of the letter from the firm’s peer review administering entity (state board of accountancy program or the AIPCA), confirming that the firm is enrolled in its peer review program; and the scheduled date of the firm’s first peer review.
· A written confirmation that the firm is either (1) a firm that is domiciled or has a principal place of business in the state of Louisiana that is in compliance with Louisiana CPA licensing and firm permit requirements; or (2) a firm that is not domiciled and does not have a principal place of business in the state of Louisiana that meets the provisions of the Louisiana Accountancy Act for non-resident firms providing attestation services to Louisiana-based clients. For further information regarding these requirements, please contact the State Board of Certified Public Accountants of Louisiana.
· A written confirmation that during the last ten years, the firm and/or its personnel have not been the subject of a disciplinary action by any state board of accountancy or other regulatory body (including but not limited to federal and state grantor agencies) due to noncompliance with the rules and regulations of the regulatory body. If the firm and/or its personnel have been the subject of such a disciplinary action, it must provide a copy of the notification letter it received from the regulatory body that describes the matter of noncompliance and any disciplinary actions taken against the firm or its personnel by the regulatory body; and a statement describing how the firm has or is addressing and rectifying the matter of noncompliance, if applicable.
· A listing of all professional staff, identifying for each:
- Whether the individual is a licensed certified public accountant.
- Whether the individual is a member of the AICPA.
- Whether the individual is a member of the LCPA
· The name(s) of the individual(s) who will act as lead auditor(s) on audits for which LLA has oversight, and the following information for each person named:
- The individual's name and contact information.
- The CPE programs completed during the current year and for the last two preceding calendar years, identifying the associated CPE hours.
· If members of the firm have not completed any CPE programs directly related to the government environment and/or government auditing in the last two years, LLA requires that members of the firm who will be working on governmental engagements to complete at least 24 hours of such CPE by the date the reports for its approved engagements are due. The firm is required to identify, for each affected individual, the government related CPE programs scheduled to be completed; and to identify the programs by name, scheduled date, and related number of CPE hours.
· If the CPA firm wishes to perform compilation engagements only, they are asked to advise LLA when requesting approval for the firm. CPA firms performing compilation engagements are required to obtain the continuing professional education sufficient to perform compilation engagements in a competent manner in accordance with all applicable standards.
· A listing of the professional services provided by the firm. and a statement as to whether the firm specializes in a particular service
· Whether the firm is local, regional, or national
· A listing of all engagements that the firm has performed under Government Auditing Standards in the preceding two years, to include the following information:
- The agency’s name and address.
- The agency’s primary contact name and telephone number.
- The period covered by the engagement.
· The CPA is asked to indicate whether their firm is interested in performing audit, review/attestation, and compilation engagements of Louisiana state government agencies and, if so, to provide the firm’s tax identification number.
· The CPA is asked to indicate whether the firm is owned and operated by a minority.
· The CPA is asked for the firm’s physical and mailing address, telephone and fax numbers.
· The CPA is asked if they would like for firm’s name, location, telephone number, and fax number to appear on the approved list on LLA’s website.
The CPA firm is notified by letter if their firm is approved, not approved, or conditionally approved pending receipt of (for example) the firm’s first peer review, evidence that CPE has been obtained, etc. Any conditions or restrictions upon the firm’s practice are included in the approval letter. An approved CPA firm also receives information by email from LLA regarding contact ID numbers that they will need to submit engagements and reports.
For questions about CPA firm approval, please contact LLA’s Engagement Manager.
- I have recently set up a new CPA firm and I have not yet had a peer review. Will LLA approve my firm?
- My CPA firm is not located in the state of Louisiana. Is there anything special I need to do for LLA to approve my firm?
- I would like to perform audit and other attest engagements for LLA. My firm’s latest peer review received a grade of fail. Will LLA approve my firm?
- My firm has been approved by LLA. How long will it take for my firm’s name to appear on the approved list on LLA’s website?
- My firm has been approved by LLA. Will LLA assist me in getting audit engagements with local auditees?
- How would a firm find out about the state engagements that are available?
- A local auditee that is statutorily required to submit sworn financial statements to LLA has approached my CPA firm about performing an audit. Must my firm be approved by LLA to perform the engagement?