Peer Review/Annual Inspection is a practice overseen by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Conducted by a reviewer approved by the AICPA, a peer review or annual inspection monitors a CPA firm’s accounting and auditing practice to promote quality in the services provided. A full peer review is conducted every third year (2013 for ECS), with an annual inspection taking place each alternate year. While the annual inspection may be conducted internally, ECS elects to undergo an independent annual inspection to assure the highest quality standards are being consistently applied throughout the firm’s engagements.
An SSAE 16 audit is an audit performed on the internal controls of a service organization. This service was formerly known as a SAS 70 audit. For ECS Financial Services, an SSAE 16 audit is the most effective way to communicate information about our controls and monitor quality for our non-attest services, which mainly cover our lease servicing activities, including portfolio management and personal property tax and sales tax compliance.
There are two types of SSAE 16 Service Auditor's Reports: Type 1 and Type II. A Type I report provides a description of the service organization's controls at a specific point of time. A Type II report not only includes the service organization's description of controls, but also includes detailed testing of the firm's controls over a minimum six month period.
ECS Financial Services has received a Type II report covering the period from January 1, 2013 to June 30, 2013 which expresses an opinion and reports on our Lease Portfolio Management, Sales and Use Tax Compliance, Personal Property Tax Compliance Solutions, and the security within our network. Our process was reviewed and tested for a specific period to determine that the controls related to the objectives stated in management's description were suitably designed to achieve those results.
In reviewing our controls, a variety of tests were performed to provide audit assurance. Some of the tests performed were inquiries seeking relevant information from our personnel to corroborate evidence of the policies or procedures. Inspection and review of records indicated the performance of our control policies. The auditors also observed the application of specific control policies and procedures as they were performed by our personnel. The last testing was re-performance of controls or processing to ensure the accuracy of our operation.
The SSAE 16 results indicate that ECS has system controls in place to secure information to prevent and detect unauthorized access attempts and attacks. These controls also provide reasonable assurance that our processes are conducted by authorized personnel in a timely, accurate, and complete manner. The Type II report ECS Financial Services received provides detailed information regarding our internal controls and the effectiveness of those controls.