What is quality review?

Key Points

  • Quality reviews are a necessary condition of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand being recognised as a professional accounting body
  • A quality review monitors whether practitioner members have quality control systems in place to comply with professional standards and legal and regulatory 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?

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand aims to serve our members and the public in many ways. Upholding the integrity of the designation ‘Chartered Accountant’ through the Quality Review Program (the Program) is an important aspect of this. The Program ensures practitioner members maintain a consistently high standard of quality and service to their clients. Together with high entry standards, training and development requirements, and comprehensive professional standards, the Program is a key feature of the co-regulatory framework.

Additionally, conducting quality reviews is a necessary condition of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand being recognised as a professional accounting body by regulators, both 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 monitors whether our members have the quality control systems in place to ensure compliance with professional standards and legal and regulatory requirements. The Program is compliance focused.

During a quality review, a reviewer appointed by us reviews the quality control system that is implemented in a practice. The reviewer considers the quality control policies and procedures that the practice has established to cover 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 and Other Financial Information, Other Assurance Engagements and Related Services 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 designed to provide reasonable assurance that the practice and its staff comply with professional standards and legal and regulatory 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 July 2014

Article last updated 5 August 2014