What is quality review?

Key Points

  • Quality reviews are a necessary condition of the Institute being recognised as a professional accounting body
  • A quality review monitors whether practitioner members have quality control policies and procedures in place to comply with professional standards and legal requirements
  • The elements of quality control are identified in the two quality control standards that apply to accounting practices: APES 320 and ASQC 1

Why have a Quality Review Program?

At the Institute, our aim is to serve our members and the public in many ways. Upholding the integrity of the designation ‘Chartered Accountants’ through the quality review program is an important aspect of this. The Institute’s quality review program, ensuring practitioner members maintain a consistently high standard of quality and service to their clients, is therefore a key feature of our co-regulatory framework, together with high entry standards, training and development requirements, and comprehensive professional rules and standards.

Additionally, conducting quality reviews is a necessary condition of the Institute being recognised as a professional accounting body both by regulators in Australia and internationally. CPA Australia and the Institute of Public Accountants also conduct quality reviews programs, as do the accounting and regulatory bodies in every major jurisdiction in the world.

What is a Quality Review?

The program is a quality assurance process to monitor whether our members have the quality control policies and procedures in place to comply with professional standards and legal requirements. The program is compliance focused.

During an Institute quality review, an Institute appointed reviewer reviews the quality control policies and procedures that are implemented in a practice. The reviewer considers the quality control procedures that the practice has established by covering the elements of quality control, as set out in APES 320 Quality Control for Firms and ASQC 1 Quality Control for Firms that Perform Audits and Reviews of Financial Reports, Other Financial Information, and Other Assurance Engagements.

What are the elements of quality control?

Two specific quality control standards apply to accounting practices: APES 320 which applies to all accounting practices, and ASQC 1 which applies to all practices that conduct assurance engagements.

Members who hold certificates of public practice are required by APES 320 and ASQC 1, where applicable, to establish and maintain a system of quality control policies and procedures, designed to provide reasonable assurance that a practice and its staff comply with standards, regulatory and legal requirements. A quality control system consists of policies designed to achieve this objective and the procedures necessary to implement and monitor compliance with those policies.

APES 320 and ASQC 1 identify the following elements of quality control:

  • Leadership responsibilities for quality within the practice
  • Ethical requirements
  • Acceptance and continuance of client relationships and specific engagements
  • Human resources
  • Engagement performance
  • Monitoring.

Article last updated 18 January 2013