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Statement on quality control standards - a firm's system of quality control (redrafted).

(Supersedes Statement on Quality Control Standards No. 7, A Firm's System of Quality Control [AICPA AICPA

See American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
, Professional Standards, vol. 2, QC sec. 10].)

INTRODUCTION

Scope of This Statement on Quality Control Standards

1. This Statement on Quality Control Standards (SQCS SQCS Statements on Quality Control Standards ) addresses a CPA (Computer Press Association, Landing, NJ) An earlier membership organization founded in 1983 that promoted excellence in computer journalism. Its annual awards honored outstanding examples in print, broadcast and electronic media. The CPA disbanded in 2000.  firm's responsibilities for its system of quality control for its accounting and auditing practice. This statement is to be read in conjunction conjunction, in astronomy
conjunction, in astronomy, alignment of two celestial bodies as seen from the earth. Conjunction of the moon and the planets is often determined by reference to the sun.
 with the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct and other relevant ethical eth·i·cal
adj.
1. Of, relating to, or dealing with ethics.

2. Being in accordance with the accepted principles of right and wrong that govern the conduct of a profession.
 requirements.

2. This SQCS, although applicable to audit and attestation The act of attending the execution of a document and bearing witness to its authenticity, by signing one's name to it to affirm that it is genuine. The certification by a custodian of records that a copy of an original document is a true copy that is demonstrated by his or her  engagements performed by CPA firms in accordance Accordance is Bible Study Software for Macintosh developed by OakTree Software, Inc.[]

As well as a standalone program, it is the base software packaged by Zondervan in their Bible Study suites for Macintosh.
 with Government Auditing Standards, does not apply to government audit organizations. Instead, those government audit organizations are subject to the quality control and assurance requirements of Government Auditing Standards, which are similar to those of this SQCS.

3. Other professional standards set out additional requirements and guidance on the responsibilities of firm personnel regarding quality control procedures for specific types of engagements. The clarified Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS (1) (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, www.sas.com) A software company that specializes in data warehousing and decision support software based on the SAS System. Founded in 1976, SAS is one of the world's largest privately held software companies. See SAS System. ) Quality Control for an Engagement Conducted in Accordance With Generally Accepted Auditing Standards Generally Accepted Auditing Standards, or GAAS, are ten auditing standards, developed by the AICPA, consisting of general standards, standards of field work, and standards of reporting, along with interpretations. , for example, addresses quality control procedures for engagements conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards.

4. A system of quality control consists of policies designed to achieve the objective set out in paragraph 12 and the procedures necessary to implement and monitor compliance with those policies.

Authority of the SQCSs

5. This statement applies to all CPA firms with respect to engagements in their accounting and auditing practice. The nature and extent of the policies and procedures Policies and Procedures are a set of documents that describe an organization's policies for operation and the procedures necessary to fulfill the policies. They are often initiated because of some external requirement, such as environmental compliance or other governmental  developed by an individual firm to comply with this statement will depend on various factors, such as the size and operating characteristics of the firm and whether it is part of a network.

6. SQCSs contain the objective of the firm in following the SQCSs and requirements designed to enable the firm to meet that stated objective. In addition, SQCSs contain related guidance in the form of application and other explanatory ex·plan·a·to·ry  
adj.
Serving or intended to explain: an explanatory paragraph.



ex·plan
 material, as discussed further in paragraph 9, and introductory material that provides context relevant to a proper understanding of the SQCSs and definitions.

7. The objective provides the context in which the requirements of SQCSs are set and is intended to assist the firm in the following:

* Understanding what needs to be accomplished

* Deciding whether more needs to be done to achieve the objective

8. SQCSs use two categories of professional requirements, identified by specific terms, to describe the degree of responsibility they impose on firms, as follows:

* Unconditional HEIR, UNCONDITIONAL. A term used in the civil law, adopted by the Civil Code of Louisiana. Unconditional heirs are those who inherit without any reservation, or without making an inventory, whether their acceptance be express or tacit. Civ. Code of Lo. art. 878.

UNCONDITIONAL.
 requirements. The firm is required to comply with an unconditional requirement in all cases in which such a requirement is relevant. SQCSs use the word must to indicate an unconditional requirement.

* Presumptively pre·sump·tive  
adj.
1. Providing a reasonable basis for belief or acceptance.

2. Founded on probability or presumption.



pre·sump
 mandatory Peremptory; obligatory; required; that which must be subscribed to or obeyed.

Mandatory statutes are those that require, as opposed to permit, a particular course of action.
 requirements. The firm is also required to comply with a presumptively mandatory requirement in all cases in which such a requirement is relevant; however, in rare circumstances CIRCUMSTANCES, evidence. The particulars which accompany a fact.
     2. The facts proved are either possible or impossible, ordinary and probable, or extraordinary and improbable, recent or ancient; they may have happened near us, or afar off; they are public or
, the firm may depart from a presumptively mandatory requirement, provided that the firm documents the justification justification

In Christian theology, the passage of an individual from sin to a state of grace. Some theologians use the term to refer to the act of God in extending grace to the sinner, while others use it to define the change in the condition of a sinner who has received
 for the departure and how the alternative policies established, or procedures performed, in the circumstances were sufficient to achieve the objectives of the presumptively mandatory requirement. SQCSs use the word should to indicate a presumptively mandatory requirement.

If an SQCS provides that a procedure or action is one that the firm "should consider," the consideration of the procedure or action is presumptively required, whereas carrying out the procedure or action is not. The professional requirements of an SQCS are to be understood and applied in the context of the explanatory material that provides guidance for their application.

9. When necessary, the application and other explanatory material provides further explanation of the requirements and guidance for carrying them out. In particular, it may

* explain more precisely what a requirement means or is intended to cover.

* include examples of policies and procedures that may be appropriate in the circumstances. The words may, might, and could, among others, are used to describe these actions and procedures. Although such guidance does not, in itself, impose a requirement, it is relevant to the proper application of the requirements. The application and other explanatory material may also provide background information on matters addressed in SQCSs. When appropriate, additional considerations specific to governmental entities or smaller firms are included within the application and other explanatory material. These additional considerations assist in the application of the requirements in SQCSs. They do not, however, limit or reduce the responsibility of the firm to apply and comply with the requirements in SQCSs.

10. SQCSs include, under the heading "Definitions," a description of the meanings attributed to certain terms for purposes of the SQCSs. These are provided to assist in the consistent application and interpretation of SQCSs and are not intended to override An arrangement whereby commissions are made by sales managers based upon the sales made by their subordinate sales representatives. A term found in an agreement between a real estate agent and a property owner whereby the agent keeps the right to receive a commission for the sale of  definitions that may be established for other purposes, whether in law, regulation, or otherwise.

Effective Date

11. The provisions of this SQCS are applicable to a CPA firm's system of quality control for its accounting and auditing practice as of January January: see month.  1, 2012.

OBJECTIVE

12. The objective of the firm is to establish and maintain a system of quality control to provide it with reasonable assurance that

a. the firm and its personnel comply with professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory reg·u·late  
tr.v. reg·u·lat·ed, reg·u·lat·ing, reg·u·lates
1. To control or direct according to rule, principle, or law.

2.
 requirements and

b. reports issued by the firm are appropriate in the circumstances.

DEFINITIONS

13. For purposes of SQCSs, the following terms have the meanings attributed as follows: Accounting and auditing practice. A practice that performs engagements covered by this statement, which are audit, attestation, compilation Compiling a program. See compiler. , review, and any other services for which standards have been established by the AICPA Auditing Standards Board In the United States, the Auditing Standards Board (ASB) is the senior technical committee designated by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to issue auditing, attestation, and quality control statements, standards and guidance to certified public  (ASB ASB Asbestos
ASB Arbeiter Samariter Bund (German medical help organisation)
ASB Anti-Social Behaviour
ASB Accounting Standards Board (UK FRC)
ASB Aarhus School of Business
) or the AICPA Accounting and Review Services Committee (ARSC ARSC Arctic Region Supercomputing Center
ARSC Association for Recorded Sound Collections
ARSC Accounting and Review Services Committee
ARSC Aircraft Repair and Supply Center (USCG)
ARSC Arizona Remote Sensing Center
) under Rule 201, General Standards (AICPA, Professional Standards, vol. 2, ET sec. 201 par. .01), or Rule 202, Compliance With Standards (AICPA, Professional Standards, vol. 2, ET sec. 202 par. .01). Although standards for other engagements may be established by other AICPA technical committees, engagements performed in accordance with those standards are not encompassed in the definition of an accounting and auditing practice.

Engagement documentation. The record of the work performed, results obtained, and conclusions that the practitioner practitioner /prac·ti·tion·er/ (prak-tish´un-er) one who has met the requirements of and is engaged in the practice of medicine, dentistry, or nursing.

nurse practitioner  see under nurse.
 reached (also known as working papers working papers
pl.n.
Legal documents certifying the right to employment of a minor or alien.

Noun 1. working papers
 or workpapers).

Engagement partner. The partner or other person in the firm who is responsible for the engagement and its performance and for the report that is issued on behalf of the firm and who, when required, has the appropriate authority from a professional, legal, or regulatory body.

Engagement quality control review. A process designed to provide an objective evaluation, before the report is released, of the significant judgments the engagement team made and the conclusions it reached in formulating the report. The engagement quality control review process is only for those engagements, if any, for which the firm has determined that an engagement quality control review is required, in accordance with its policies and procedures.

Engagement quality control reviewer re·view·er  
n.
One who reviews, especially one who writes critical reviews, as for a newspaper or magazine.


reviewer
Noun

a person who writes reviews of books, films, etc.

Noun 1.
. A partner, other person in the firm, suitably qualified external person, or team made up of such individuals, none of whom is part of the engagement team, with sufficient and appropriate experience and authority to objectively evaluate the significant judgments that the engagement team made and the conclusions it reached in formulating the report.

Engagement team. All partners and staff performing the engagement and any individuals engaged by the firm or a network firm who perform procedures on the engagement. This excludes external specialists engaged by the firm or a network firm. (1)

Firm. A form of organization permitted by law or regulation whose characteristics conform to Verb 1. conform to - satisfy a condition or restriction; "Does this paper meet the requirements for the degree?"
fit, meet

coordinate - be co-ordinated; "These activities coordinate well"
 resolutions of the Council of the AICPA and that is engaged in the practice of public accounting.

Inspection. A retrospective LAW, RETROSPECTIVE. A retrospective law is one that is to take effect, in point of time, before it was passed.
     2. Whenever a law of this kind impairs the obligation of contracts, it is void. 3 Dall. 391.
 evaluation of the adequacy of the firm's quality control policies and procedures, its personnel's understanding of those policies and procedures, and the extent of the firm's compliance with them. Inspection includes a review of completed engagements.

Monitoring. A process comprising an ongoing consideration and evaluation of the firm's system of quality control, including inspection or a periodic review of engagement documentation, reports, and clients' financial statements for a selection of completed engagements, designed to provide the firm with reasonable assurance that its system of quality control is designed appropriately and operating effectively.

Network. An association of entities, as defined in ET section 92, Definitions (AICPA, Professional Standards, vol. 2).

Network firm. A firm or other entity that belongs to a network, as defined in ET section 92.

Partner. Any individual with authority to bind the firm with respect to the performance of a professional services (job) professional services - A department of a supplier providing consultancy and programming manpower for the supplier's products.  engagement. For purposes of this definition, partner may include an employee with this authority who has not assumed the risks and benefits of ownership. Firms may use different titles to refer to individuals with this authority.

Personnel. Partners and staff.

Professional standards. Standards established by the ASB or ARSC under Rules 201 or 202 or other standard setting bodies that set auditing and attest To solemnly declare verbally or in writing that a particular document or testimony about an event is a true and accurate representation of the facts; to bear witness to. To formally certify by a signature that the signer has been present at the execution of a particular writing so as  standards applicable to the engagement being performed and relevant ethical requirements.

Reasonable assurance. In the context of this standard, a high, but not absolute, level of assurance.

Relevant ethical requirements. Ethical requirements to which the firm and its personnel are subject, which consist of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct together with rules of applicable state boards state boards Examinations administered by a US state board of medical examiners to license a physician in a particular state; these examinations play an ever-decreasing role in state medical licensure, as these bodies now rely on standardized national examinations  of accountancy and applicable regulatory agencies that are more restrictive.

Staff. Professionals, other than partners, including any specialists that the firm employs.

Suitably qualified external person. An individual outside the firm with the competence and capabilities to act as an engagement partner (for example, a partner of another firm).

REQUIREMENTS

Applying and Complying With Relevant Requirements

14. Personnel within the firm responsible for establishing and maintaining the firm's system of quality control should have an understanding of the entire text of this SQCS, including its application and other explanatory material, to understand its objective and apply its requirements properly.

15. The firm should comply with each requirement of this SQCS unless, in the circumstances of the firm, the requirement is not relevant to the services provided by a firm's accounting and auditing practice. (Ref: par. A1)

16. The requirements are designed to enable the firm to achieve the objective stated in this SQCS. The proper application of the requirements is, therefore, expected to provide a sufficient basis for the achievement of the objective. However, because circumstances vary widely and all such circumstances cannot be anticipated, the firm should consider whether there are particular matters or circumstances that require the firm to establish policies and procedures in addition to those required by this SQCS to meet the stated objective.

Elements of a System of Quality Control

17. The firm must establish and maintain a system of quality control. The system of quality control should include policies and procedures addressing each of the following elements:

a. Leadership responsibilities for quality within the firm (the tone at the top)

b. Relevant ethical requirements

c. Acceptance and continuance The adjournment or postponement of an action pending in a court to a later date of the same or another session of the court, granted by a court in response to a motion made by a party to a lawsuit.  of client relationships and specific engagements

d. Human resources The fancy word for "people." The human resources department within an organization, years ago known as the "personnel department," manages the administrative aspects of the employees.  

e. Engagement performance

f. Monitoring

Policies and procedures established by the firm related to each element are designed to achieve reasonable assurance with respect to the purpose of that element. Deficiencies in policies and procedures for an element may result in not achieving reasonable assurance with respect to the purpose of that element; however, the system of quality control as a whole may still be effective in achieving the objective described in paragraph 12.

18. The firm should document its policies and procedures and communicate them to the firm's personnel. (Ref: par. A2-A3)

Leadership Responsibilities for Quality Within the Firm

19. The firm should establish policies and procedures designed to promote an internal culture based on the recognition that quality is essential in performing engagements. Such policies and procedures should require the firm's leadership (managing partner or board of managing partners, CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. , or equivalent) to assume ultimate responsibility for the firm's system of quality control. (Ref: par. A4-A5)

20. The firm should establish policies and procedures designed to provide it with reasonable assurance that any person or persons assigned as·sign  
tr.v. as·signed, as·sign·ing, as·signs
1. To set apart for a particular purpose; designate: assigned a day for the inspection.

2.
 operational responsibility for the firm's system of quality control by the firm's leadership has sufficient and appropriate experience and ability, and the necessary authority, to assume that responsibility. (Ref: par. A6)

Relevant Ethical Requirements

21. The firm should establish policies and procedures designed to provide it with reasonable assurance that the firm and its personnel comply with relevant ethical requirements. (Ref: par. A7-A9)

Independence

22. The firm should establish policies and procedures designed to provide it with reasonable assurance that the firm; its personnel; and, when applicable, others subject to independence requirements (including network firm personnel) maintain independence when required by relevant ethical requirements. Such policies and procedures should enable the firm to

a. communicate its independence requirements to its personnel and, when applicable, others subject to them and

b. identify and evaluate circumstances and relationships that create threats to independence and to take appropriate action to eliminate those threats or reduce them to an acceptable level by applying safeguards or, if considered appropriate, to withdraw from the engagement when withdrawal is possible under applicable law or regulation.

23. Such policies and procedures should require

a. engagement partners to provide the firm with relevant information about client engagements, including the scope of services, to enable the firm to evaluate the overall effect, if any, on independence requirements;

b. personnel to promptly prompt  
adj. prompt·er, prompt·est
1. Being on time; punctual.

2. Carried out or performed without delay: a prompt reply.

tr.v.
 notify the firm of circumstances and relationships that create a threat to independence so that appropriate action can be taken; and

c. the accumulation Accumulation

1) In the context of individual investing, it is the process of contributing cash to invest in securities over a period of time in order to build a portfolio of desired value. Dividends and capital gains are also reinvested during this process.
 and communication of relevant information to appropriate personnel so that

i. the firm and its personnel can readily determine whether they satisfy independence requirements,

ii. the firm can maintain and update information relating to relating to relate prepconcernant

relating to relate prepbezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc 
 independence, and

iii. the firm can take appropriate action regarding identified threats to independence that are not at an acceptable level.

24. The firm should establish policies and procedures designed to provide it with reasonable assurance that it is notified of breaches of independence requirements and to enable it to take appropriate actions to resolve such situations. The policies and procedures should include requirements for

a. personnel to promptly notify the firm of independence breaches of which they become aware;

b. the firm to promptly communicate identified breaches of these policies and procedures to

i. the engagement partner who, with the firm, needs to address the breach and

ii. other relevant personnel in the firm and, when appropriate, the network and those subject to the independence requirements who need to take appropriate action; and

c. prompt communication to the firm, if necessary, by the engagement partner and the other individuals referred to in subparagraph (b)(ii) of the actions taken to resolve the matter so that the firm can determine whether it should take further action.

25. At least annually, the firm should obtain written confirmation of compliance with its policies and procedures on independence from all firm personnel required to be independent by the requirements set forth m Rule 101, Independence (AICPA, Professional Standards, vol. 2, ET sec. 101 par. .01), and its related interpretations and rulings of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct and the rules of state boards of accountancy and applicable regulatory agencies. (Ref: par. A10)

26. The firm should establish policies and procedures for all audit or attestation engagements for which regulatory or other authorities require the rotation Rotation

An active asset management strategy that tactically overweighted and underweighted certain sectors, depending on expected performance. Sometimes called sector rotation.
 of personnel after a specified spec·i·fy  
tr.v. spec·i·fied, spec·i·fy·ing, spec·i·fies
1. To state explicitly or in detail: specified the amount needed.

2. To include in a specification.

3.
 period, in compliance with such requirements.

Acceptance and Continuance of Client Relationships and Specific Engagements

27. The firm should establish policies and procedures for the acceptance and continuance of client relationships and specific engagements, designed to provide the firm with reasonable assurance that it will undertake or continue relationships and engagements only when the firm

a. is competent to perform the engagement and has the capabilities, including time and resources, to do so; (Ref: par. All)

b. can comply with legal and relevant ethical requirements; and

c. has considered the integrity of the client and does not have information that would lead it to conclude that the client lacks integrity (Ref: par. A12, A13)

28. Such policies and procedures should

a. require the firm to obtain such information as it considers necessary in the circumstances before accepting an engagement with a new client, when deciding whether to continue an existing engagement, and when considering acceptance of a new engagement with an existing client. (Ref: par. A14)

b. require the firm to determine whether it is appropriate to accept the engagement if a potential conflict of interest is identified in accepting an engagement from a new or an existing client.

c. if issues have been identified and the firm decides to accept or continue the client relationship or a specific engagement, require the firm to

i. consider whether ethical requirements that exist under Interpretation No. 102-2, "Conflicts of Interest," under Rule 102, Integrity and Objectivity (AICPA, Professional Standards, vol. 2, ET sec. 102 par. .03), apply, such as disclosure of the relationship to the client and other appropriate parties, and

ii. document how the issues were resolved.

29. To minimize In a graphical environment, to hide an application that is currently displayed on screen. For example, in Windows and Mac, the application's window is removed from the screen and represented by an icon on the Windows Taskbar. In the Mac, the icon is placed in the Dock. See Win Minimize windows.  the risk of misunderstandings regarding the nature, scope, and limitations of the services to be performed, the firm should establish policies and procedures that provide for obtaining an understanding with the client regarding those services. (Ref: par. A15)

30. The firm should establish policies and procedures on continuing an engagement and the client relationship that address the circumstances when the firm obtains information that would have caused it to decline the engagement had that information been available earlier. Such policies and procedures should include consideration of the following:

a. The professional and legal responsibilities that apply to the circumstances, including whether there is a requirement for the firm to report to regulatory authorities

b. The possibility of withdrawing withdrawing Child psychiatry Behavior characterized by ↓ interest in or contact with other people; WBs include ↓ speech, regression to babyhood, exhibition of many fears, depression, refusing contact with other people  from the engagement or from both the engagement and the client relationship (Ref: par. A16)

Human Resources

31. The firm should establish policies and procedures designed to provide it with reasonable assurance that it has sufficient personnel with the competence, capabilities, and commitment to ethical principles necessary to

a. perform engagements in accordance with professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements and

b. enable the firm to issue reports that are appropriate in the circumstances. (Ref: par. A17-A24)

32. The firm's policies and procedures should provide that personnel selected for advancement A gift of money or property made by a person while alive to his or her child or other legally recognized heir, the value of which the person intends to be deducted from the child's or heir's eventual share in the estate after the giver's death.  have the qualifications necessary for fulfillment ful·fill also ful·fil  
tr.v. ful·filled, ful·fill·ing, ful·fills also ful·fils
1. To bring into actuality; effect: fulfilled their promises.

2.
 of the responsibilities that they will be called on to assume.

Assignment of Engagement Teams

33. The firm should assign responsibility for each engagement to an engagement partner and should establish policies and procedures requiring that

a. the identity and role of the engagement partner are communicated to management and those charged with governance Governance makes decisions that define expectations, grant power, or verify performance. It consists either of a separate process or of a specific part of management or leadership processes. Sometimes people set up a government to administer these processes and systems. ;

b. the engagement partner has the appropriate competence, capabilities, and authority to perform the role; and (Ref: par. A25-A30)

c. the responsibilities of the engagement partner are clearly defined and communicated to that individual.

34. The firm should establish policies and procedures to assign appropriate personnel with the necessary competence and capabilities to

a. perform engagements in accordance with professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements and

b. enable the firm to issue reports that are appropriate in the circumstances. (Ref: par. A31)

Engagement Performance

35. The firm should establish policies and procedures designed to provide it with reasonable assurance that engagements are performed in accordance with professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements and that the firm issues reports that are appropriate in the circumstances. Such policies and procedures should include the following:

a. Matters relevant to promoting consistency Consistency can refer to:
  • Consistency proof, in mathematics, logic, and theoretical physics
  • Consistency (statistics), a property of estimators and estimation
 in the quality of engagement performance (Ref: par. A32-A33)

b. Supervision responsibilities (Ref: par. A34)

c. Review responsibilities (Ref: par. A35)

36. The firm's review responsibility policies and procedures should be determined on the basis that suitably experienced engagement team members, which may include the engagement partner, review work performed by other engagement team members.

Consultation

37. The firm should establish policies and procedures designed to provide it with reasonable assurance that

a. appropriate consultation takes place on difficult or contentious issues;

b. sufficient resources are available to enable appropriate consultation to take place;

c. the nature and scope of such consultations are documented and are agreed upon Adj. 1. agreed upon - constituted or contracted by stipulation or agreement; "stipulatory obligations"
stipulatory

noncontroversial, uncontroversial - not likely to arouse controversy
 by both the individual seeking consultation and the individual consulted; and

d. the conclusions resulting from consultations are documented, understood by both the individual seeking consultation and the individual consulted, and implemented. (Ref: par. A36-A40)

Engagement Quality Control Review

38. The firm should establish criteria criteria (krītēr´ē),
n.
 against which all engagements covered by this SQCS should be evaluated to determine whether an engagement quality control review should be performed. (Ref: par. A41)

39. The firm's policies and procedures should require that if an engagement meets the criteria established, an engagement quality control review should be performed for that engagement.

40. The firm should establish policies and procedures setting out the nature, timing, and extent of an engagement quality control review. Such policies and procedures should require that the engagement quality control review be completed before the report is released. (Ref: par. A42-A44)

41. The firm should establish policies and procedures to require the engagement quality control review to include

a. discussion of significant findings and issues with the engagement partner;

b. reading the financial statements or other subject matter information and the proposed report;

c. review of selected engagement documentation relating to significant judgments that the engagement team made and the related conclusions it reached; and

d. evaluation of the conclusions reached in formulating the report and consideration of whether the proposed report is appropriate. (Ref: par. A45-A47)

Criteria for the Eligibility of Engagement Quality Control Reviewers

42. The firm should establish policies and procedures to address the appointment of engagement quality control reviewers and to establish their eligibility through

a. the technical qualifications required to perform the role, including the necessary experience and authority, and (Ref: par. A48)

b. the degree to which an engagement quality control reviewer can be consulted on the engagement without compromising the reviewer's objectivity (Ref: par. A49)

43. The firm should establish policies and procedures designed to maintain the objectivity of the engagement quality control reviewer. Such policies and procedures should provide that although the engagement quality control reviewer is not a member of the engagement team, the engagement quality control reviewer should satisfy the independence requirements relating to the engagements reviewed. Accordingly, such policies and procedures should provide that the engagement quality control reviewer

a. when practicable practicable adj. when something can be done or performed. , is not selected by the engagement partner.

b. does not otherwise participate in the performance of the engagement during the period of review.

c. does not make decisions for the engagement team.

d. is not subject to other considerations that would threaten the reviewer's objectivity.

44. The firm's policies and procedures should provide for the replacement of the engagement quality control reviewer when the reviewers ability to perform an objective review is likely to have been impaired See assistive technology. . (Ref: par. A50)

Documentation of the Engagement Quality Control Review

45. The firm should establish policies and procedures on documentation of the engagement quality control review, which require documentation that

a. the procedures required by the firm's policies on engagement quality control review have been performed;

b. the engagement quality control review has been completed before the report is released; and

c. the reviewer is not aware of any unresolved Not completed; not finished; not linked together. See resolve.  matters that would cause the reviewer to believe that the significant judgments that the engagement team made and the conclusions it reached were not appropriate.

Differences of Opinion

46. The firm should establish policies and procedures for addressing and resolving differences of opinion within the engagement team; with those consulted; and, when applicable, between the engagement partner and the engagement quality control reviewer. (Ref: par. A51-A52)

47. Such policies and procedures should enable a member of the engagement team to document that member's disagreement with the conclusions reached after appropriate consultation.

48. Such policies and procedures should require the following:

a. Conclusions reached be documented and implemented

b. The report not be released until the matter is resolved

Engagement Documentation Completion of the Assembly of Final Engagement Files

49. The firm should establish policies and procedures for engagement teams to complete the assembly of final engagement files on a timely basis after the engagement reports have been released. (Ref: par. A53-A54)

Confidentiality Restrictions on the accessibility and dissemination of information. Confidentiality is one of the six fundamental components of information security (see Parkerian Hexad). , Safe Custody The care, possession, and control of a thing or person. The retention, inspection, guarding, maintenance, or security of a thing within the immediate care and control of the person to whom it is committed. The detention of a person by lawful authority or process. , Integrity, Accessibility, and Retrievability of Engagement Documentation

50. The firm should establish policies and procedures designed to maintain the confidentiality, safe custody, integrity, accessibility, and retrievability of engagement documentation. (Ref: par. A55-A58)

Retention of Engagement Documentation

51. The firm should establish policies and procedures for the retention of engagement documentation for a period sufficient to meet the needs of the firm, professional standards, laws, and regulations. (Ref: par. A59-A62)

Monitoring

Monitoring the Firm's Quality Control Policies and Procedures

52. The firm should establish a monitoring process designed to provide it with reasonable assurance that the policies and procedures relating to the system of quality control are relevant, adequate, and operating effectively This process should

a. include an ongoing consideration and evaluation of the firm's system of quality control, including inspection or a periodic review of engagement documentation, reports, and clients' financial statements for a selection of completed engagements;

b. require responsibility for the monitoring process to be assigned to a partner or partners or other persons with sufficient and appropriate experience and authority in the firm to assume that responsibility; and

c. assign the performance of monitoring the firm's system of quality control to qualified individuals. (Ref: par. A63-A73)

Evaluating, Communicating, and Remedying Identified Deficiencies

53. Any system of quality control has inherent limitations that can reduce its effectiveness. Deficiencies in individual engagements covered by this statement do not, in and of themselves, indicate that the firm's system of quality control is insufficient in·suf·fi·cient
adj.
1. Not sufficient.

2. Incapable of proper functioning.
 to provide it with reasonable assurance that its personnel comply with applicable professional standards.

54. The firm should evaluate the effect of deficiencies noted as a result of the monitoring process and determine whether they are either

a. instances that do not necessarily indicate that the firm's system of quality control is insufficient to provide it with reasonable assurance that it complies with professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements and that the reports issued by the firm are appropriate in the circumstances or

b. systemic systemic /sys·tem·ic/ (sis-tem´ik) pertaining to or affecting the body as a whole.

sys·tem·ic
adj.
1. Of or relating to a system.

2.
, repetitive, or other significant deficiencies that require prompt corrective action A corrective action is a change implemented to address a weakness identified in a management system. Normally corrective actions are instigated in response to a customer complaint, abnormal levels if internal nonconformity, nonconformities identified during an internal audit or .

55. The firm should communicate to relevant engagement partners, and other appropriate personnel, deficiencies noted as a result of the monitoring process and recommendations for appropriate remedial action A remedial action is a change made to a nonconforming product or service to address the deficiency.

Rework and repair are generally the remedial actions taken on products, while services usually require additional services to be performed to ensure satisfaction.
. (Ref: par. A74)

56. Recommendations for appropriate remedial REMEDIAL. That which affords a remedy; as, a remedial statute, or one which is made to supply some defects or abridge some superfluities of the common law. 1 131. Com. 86. The term remedial statute is also applied to those acts which give a new remedy. Esp. Pen. Act. 1.  actions for deficiencies noted should include one or more of the following:

a. Taking appropriate remedial action in relation to an individual engagement or member of personnel

b. The communication of the findings to those responsible for training and professional development

c. Changes to the quality control policies and procedures

d. Disciplinary action against those who fail to comply with the policies and procedures of the firm, especially those who do so repeatedly

57. The firm should establish policies and procedures to address cases when the results of the monitoring procedures indicate that a report may be inappropriate inappropriate Medtalk adjective A diagnostic or therapeutic procedure proven to be unnecessary for the efficient management of a particular Pt. See Appropriateness, Canadian plan, Practice guidelines Neurology adjective Referring to a response or behavior  or that procedures were omitted during the performance of the engagement. Such policies and procedures should require the firm to

a. determine what further action is appropriate to comply with relevant professional standards and legal and regulatory requirements and

b. consider whether to obtain legal advice.

58. The firm should communicate, at least annually, the results of the monitoring of its system of quality control to engagement partners and other appropriate individuals within the firm, including the firm's leadership. This communication should be sufficient to enable the firm and these individuals to take prompt and appropriate action, when necessary, in accordance with their defined roles and responsibilities to provide a basis for them to rely on the firm's system of quality control. Information communicated should include the following:

a. A description of the monitoring procedures performed

b. The conclusions drawn from the monitoring procedures

c. When relevant, a description of systemic, repetitive, or other significant deficiencies and of the actions taken to resolve or amend those deficiencies

59. Some firms operate as part of a network and, for consistency, may implement some of their monitoring procedures on a network basis. When firms within a network operate under common monitoring policies and procedures designed to comply with this SQCS, and these firms place reliance on such a monitoring system, the firm's policies and procedures should require that

a. at least annually, the network communicate the overall scope, extent, and results of the monitoring process to appropriate individuals within the network firms and

b. the network communicate promptly any identified deficiencies in the quality control system to appropriate individuals within the relevant network firm or firms so that the necessary action can be taken in order that engagement partners in the network firms can rely on the results of the monitoring process implemented within the network, unless the firms or the network advise otherwise.

Complaints and Allegations

60. The firm should establish policies and procedures designed to provide it with reasonable assurance that it deals appropriately with

a. complaints and allegations that the work performed by the firm fails to comply with professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements and

b. allegations of noncompliance with the firm's system of quality control.

As part of this process, the firm should establish dearly defined channels for firm personnel to raise any concerns in a manner that enables them to come forward without fear of reprisals REPRISALS, war. The forcibly taking a thing by one nation which belonged to another, in return or satisfaction for a injury committed by the latter on the former. Vatt. B., 2, ch. 18, s. 342; 1 Bl. Com. ch. 7.
     2.
. (Ref: par. A75)

61. If, during the investigations into complaints and allegations, deficiencies in the design or operation of the firm's quality control policies and procedures, or instances of noncompliance with the firm's system of quality control by an individual or individuals are identified, the firm should take appropriate actions, as set out in paragraph 56. (Ref: par. A76-A77)

Documentation of the System of Quality Control

62. The firm should establish policies and procedures requiring appropriate documentation to provide evidence of the operation of each element of its system of quality control. (Ref: par. A78-A80)

63. The firm should establish policies and procedures that require retention of documentation for a period of time sufficient to permit those performing monitoring procedures and peer review of the firm to evaluate the firm's compliance with its system of quality control or for a longer period if required by taw or regulation. (2)

64. The firm should establish policies and procedures requiring documentation of complaints and allegations described in paragraph 60 and the responses to them.

***

APPLICATION AND OTHER EXPLANATORY MATERIAL

Applying and Complying With Relevant Requirements

Considerations Specific to Smaller Firms (Ref: par. 15)

A1. This SQCS does not call for compliance with requirements that are not relevant (for example, in the circumstances of a sole practitioner with no staff). Requirements in this SQCS, such as those for policies and procedures for the assignment of appropriate personnel to the engagement team (see paragraph 34), for review responsibilities (see paragraph 36), and for the annual communication of the results of monitoring to engagement partners within the firm (see paragraph 58) are not relevant in the absence of staff.

Elements of a System of Quality Control (Ref: par. 18)

A2. In general, communication of quality control policies and procedures to firm personnel includes a description of the quality control policies and procedures and the objectives they are designed to achieve and the message that each individual has a personal responsibility for quality and is expected to comply with these policies and procedures. By encouraging firm personnel to communicate their views or concerns on quality control matters, the firm recognizes the importance of obtaining feedback on the firm's system of quality control. Although communication is enhanced if it is in writing, the communication of quality control policies and procedures is not required to be in writing.

Considerations Specific to Smaller Firms

A3. Documentation and communication of policies and procedures for smaller firms may be less formal and extensive than for larger firms.

Leadership Responsibilities for Quality Within the Firm

Promoting an Internal Culture of Quality (Ref: par. 19)

A4. The firm's leadership, and the examples it sets, significantly influences the internal culture of the firm. The promotion of a quality-oriented internal culture depends on clear, consistent, and frequent actions and messages from all levels of the firm's management that emphasize the firm's quality control policies and procedures and the requirement to

a. perform work that complies with professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements.

b. issue reports that are appropriate in the circumstances.

Such actions and messages encourage a culture that recognizes and rewards quality work. These actions and messages may be communicated by, but are not limited to, training seminars, meetings, formal or informal dialogue, mission statements, newsletters, or briefing memoranda. They may be incorporated in partner and staff appraisal procedures and the firm's internal documentation and training materials, such that they will support and reinforce re·in·force
v.
1. To give more force or effectiveness to something; strengthen.

2. To reward an individual, especially an experimental subject, with a reinforcer subsequent to a desired response or performance.

3.
 the firm's view on the importance of quality and how, practically, it is to be achieved.

A5. Of particular importance in promoting an internal culture based on quality is the need for the firm's leadership to recognize that the firm's business strategy is subject to the overarching o·ver·arch·ing  
adj.
1. Forming an arch overhead or above: overarching branches.

2. Extending over or throughout: "I am not sure whether the missing ingredient . . .
 requirement for the firm to achieve the objectives of the system of quality control in all the engagements that the firm performs. Promoting such an internal culture includes the following:

a. Establishment of policies and procedures that address performance evaluation Performance evaluation

The assessment of a manager's results, which involves, first, determining whether the money manager added value by outperforming the established benchmark (performance measurement) and, second, determining how the money manager achieved the calculated return
, compensation, and advancement (including incentive systems) with regard to its personnel in order to demonstrate the firm's overarching commitment to quality

b. Assignment of management responsibilities so that commercial considerations do not override the quality of the work performed

c. Provision of sufficient and appropriate resources for the development, documentation, and support of its quality control policies and procedures

Assigning as·sign  
tr.v. as·signed, as·sign·ing, as·signs
1. To set apart for a particular purpose; designate: assigned a day for the inspection.

2.
 Operational Responsibility for the Firm's System of Quality Control (Ref: par. 20)

A6. Sufficient and appropriate experience and ability enables the person or persons responsible for the firm's system of quality control to identify and understand quality control issues and to develop appropriate policies and procedures. Necessary authority enables the person or persons to implement those policies and procedures.

Relevant Ethical Requirements Compliance With Relevant Ethical Requirements (Ref: par. 21)

A7. The AICPA Code of Professional Conduct establishes the fundamental principles of professional ethics professional ethics,
n the rules governing the conduct, transactions, and relationships within a profession and among its publics.

professional ethics liability,
n 1.
, which include the following:

* Responsibilities

* The public interest

* Integrity

* Objectivity and independence

* Due care

* Scope and nature of services

A8. Independence requirements are set forth in Rule 101 and its related interpretations and rulings of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct and the rules of state boards of accountancy and applicable regulatory agencies. Guidance on threats to independence and safeguards to mitigate mit·i·gate
v.
To moderate in force or intensity.



miti·gation n.
 such threats involving matters that are not explicitly ex·plic·it  
adj.
1.
a. Fully and clearly expressed; leaving nothing implied.

b. Fully and clearly defined or formulated: "generalizations that are powerful, precise, and explicit" 
 addressed in the Code of Professional Conduct are set forth in ET section 100-1, Conceptual Framework For the concept in aesthetics and art criticism, see .

A conceptual framework is used in research to outline possible courses of action or to present a preferred approach to a system analysis project.
 for AICPA Independence Standards (AICPA, Professional Standards, vol. 2).

A9. The fundamental principles are reinforced re·in·force also re-en·force or re·en·force  
tr.v. re·in·forced, re·in·forc·ing, re·in·forc·es
1. To give more force or effectiveness to; strengthen: The news reinforced her hopes.
, in particular, by the following:

* The leadership of the firm

* Education and training

* Monitoring

* A process for dealing with noncompliance

Written Confirmation (Ref: par. 25)

A10. Written confirmation may be in paper or electronic form. By obtaining confirmation and taking appropriate action on information indicating non-compliance, the firm demonstrates the importance that it attaches to independence and keeps the issue current for, and visible to, its personnel.

Acceptance and Continuance of Client Relationships and Specific Engagements Competence, Capabilities, and Resources (Ref: par. 27(a))

A11. Consideration of whether the firm has the competence, capabilities, and resources to undertake a new engagement from a new or an existing client involves reviewing the specific requirements of the engagement and the existing partner and staff profiles at all relevant levels, including whether

* firm personnel have knowledge of relevant industries or subject matters or the ability to effectively gain the necessary knowledge;

* firm personnel have experience with relevant regulatory or reporting requirements or the ability to effectively gain the necessary competencies;

* the firm has sufficient personnel with the necessary competence and capabilities;

* specialists are available, if needed;

* individuals meeting the criteria and eligibility requirements to perform an engagement quality control review are available, when applicable; and

* the firm is able to complete the engagement within the reporting deadline.

Integrity of a Client (Ref: par. 27(c))

A12. Matters to consider regarding the integrity of a client include, for example, the following:

* The identity and business reputation of the client's principal owners, key management, and those charged with governance

* The nature of the client's operations, including its business practices

* Information concerning the attitude of the client's principal owners, key management, and those charged with governance toward such matters as internal control or aggressive interpretation of accounting standards

* Indications of an inappropriate limitation in the scope of the work

* Indications that the client might be involved in money laundering The process of taking the proceeds of criminal activity and making them appear legal.

Laundering allows criminals to transform illegally obtained gain into seemingly legitimate funds.
 or other criminal activities

* The reasons for the proposed appointment of the firm and nonreappointment of the previous firm

The extent of knowledge that a firm will have regarding the integrity of a client will generally grow within the context of an ongoing relationship with that client.

A13. Sources of information on such matters obtained by the firm may include the following:

* Communications with existing or previous providers of professional accountancy services to the client, in accordance with relevant ethical requirements, and discussions with other third parties

* Inquiry of other firm personnel or third parties, such as bankers, legal counsel, and industry peers

* Background searches of relevant databases

Continuance of a Client Relationship (Ref: par. 28(a))

A14. Deciding whether to continue a client relationship includes consideration of significant issues that have arisen during the current or previous engagements and their implications for continuing the relationship. For example, a client may have started to expand its business operations Business operations are those activities involved in the running of a business for the purpose of producing value for the stakeholders. Compare business processes. The outcome of business operations is the harvesting of value from assets  into an area where the firm does not possess, and cannot obtain, the necessary expertise.

Obtaining an Understanding With the Client (Ref: par. 29)

A15. Professional standards applicable to the engagement may contain requirements for obtaining a written understanding with the client.

Withdrawal (Ref: par. 30)

A16. Policies and procedures on withdrawal from an engagement or from both the engagement and the client relationship may address issues that include the following:

* Discussing with the appropriate level of the client's management and those charged with governance the appropriate action that the firm might take based on the relevant facts and circumstances

* If the firm determines that it is appropriate to withdraw, discussing with the appropriate level of the client's management and those charged with governance withdrawal from the engagement or from both the engagement and the client relationship and the reasons for the withdrawal

* Considering whether there is a professional, legal, or regulatory requirement Regulatory requirements are part of the process of drug discovery and drug development. Regulatory requirements describe what is necessary for a new drug to be approved for marketing in any particular country.  for the firm to remain in place or for the firm to report the withdrawal from the engagement or from both the engagement and the client relationship, together with the reasons for the withdrawal, to regulatory authorities

* Documenting significant matters, consultations, conclusions, and the basis for the conclusions

Human Resources (Ref: par. 31)

A17. Personnel issues relevant to the firm's policies and procedures related to human resources include, for example, the following:

* Recruitment recruitment /re·cruit·ment/ (re-krldbomact´ment)
1. the gradual increase to a maximum in a reflex when a stimulus of unaltered intensity is prolonged.

2.
 and hiring, if applicable

* Performance evaluation, compensation, and advancement

* Determining competencies and capabilities, including time to perform assignments

* Professional development

* The estimation estimation

In mathematics, use of a function or formula to derive a solution or make a prediction. Unlike approximation, it has precise connotations. In statistics, for example, it connotes the careful selection and testing of a function called an estimator.
 of personnel needs

Effective recruitment processes and procedures help the firm select individuals of integrity who have the capacity to develop the competence and capabilities necessary to perform the firm's work and possess the appropriate characteristics to enable them to perform competently Examples of such characteristics may include meeting minimum academic requirements established by the firm, maturity, integrity, and leadership traits.

A18. Competencies and capabilities are the knowledge, skills, and abilities that qualify personnel to perform an engagement covered by this SQCS. Competencies and capabilities are not measured by periods of time because such a quantitative quantitative /quan·ti·ta·tive/ (kwahn´ti-ta?tiv)
1. denoting or expressing a quantity.

2. relating to the proportionate quantities or to the amount of the constituents of a compound.
 measurement may not accurately reflect the kinds of experiences gained by personnel in any given time period. Accordingly, for purposes of this section, a measure of overall competency is qualitative qualitative /qual·i·ta·tive/ (kwahl´i-ta?tiv) pertaining to quality. Cf. quantitative.

qualitative

pertaining to observations of a categorical nature, e.g. breed, sex.
 rather than quantitative.

A19. Competence can be developed through a variety of methods; these methods include, for example, the following:

* Professional education

* Continuing professional development CPD is the means by which members of professional associations maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge and skills and develop the personal qualities required in their professional lives. , including training

* Work experience

* Mentoring by more experienced staff, such as other members of the engagement team

* Independence education for personnel who are required to be independent

A20. The continuing competence of the firm's personnel depends, to a significant extent, on an appropriate level of continuing professional development so that personnel maintain their knowledge and capabilities. Effective policies and procedures emphasize the need for all levels of firm personnel to participate in general and industry-specific continuing professional education (CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) Communications equipment that resides on the customer's premises.

CPE - Customer Premises Equipment
) and other professional development activities that enable them to fulfill ful·fill also ful·fil  
tr.v. ful·filled, ful·fill·ing, ful·fills also ful·fils
1. To bring into actuality; effect: fulfilled their promises.

2.
 responsibilities assigned and to satisfy applicable CPE requirements of the AICPA and regulatory agencies. Effective policies and procedures also place importance on passing the Uniform CPA Examination. The firm may provide the necessary training resources and assistance to enable personnel to develop and maintain the required competence and capabilities.

A21. The firm may use a suitably qualified external person, for example, when internal technical and training resources are unavailable.

A22. Effective performance evaluation, compensation, and advancement procedures give due recognition and reward to the development and maintenance of competence and commitment to ethical principles. Steps that a firm may take in developing and maintaining competence and commitment to ethical principles include the following:

* Making personnel aware of the firm's expectations regarding performance and ethical principles

* Providing personnel with an evaluation of, and counseling on, performance, progress, and career development

* Helping personnel understand that their compensation and advancement to positions of greater responsibility depend upon, among other things, performance quality and adherence adherence /ad·her·ence/ (ad-her´ens) the act or condition of sticking to something.

immune adherence
 to ethical principles and that failure to comply with the firm's policies and procedures may result in disciplinary action.

Considerations Specific to Smaller Firms

A23. The size and circumstances of the firm are important considerations in determining the structure of the firm's performance evaluation process. Smaller firms, in particular, may employ less formal methods of evaluating the performance of their personnel.

The Relationship of the Competency Requirement of the Uniform Accountancy Act to the Human Resource Element of Quality Control

A24. CPAs are required to follow the accountancy laws of the individual licensing jurisdictions in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area.  that govern the practice of public accounting. These jurisdictions may have adopted, in whole or in part, the Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA), which is a model legislative statute statute, in law, a formal, written enactment by the authorized powers of a state. The term is usually not applied to a written constitution but is restricted to the enactments of a legislature. , including related administrative rules, designed by the AICPA and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy to provide a uniform approach to the regulation of the accounting profession. The UAA provides that "[a]ny individual licensee licensee n. a person given a license by government or under private agreement. (See: license, licensor)


LICENSEE. One to whom a license has been given. 1 M. Q. & S. 699 n.
 ... who is responsible for supervising attest or compilation services and signs or authorizes someone to sign the accountant's report on the financial statements on behalf of the firm, shall meet the competency requirements set out in the professional standards for such services." A firm's compliance with this SQCS is intended to enable a practitioner who performs accounting and auditing services on the firm's behalf to meet the competency requirement referred to in the UAA.

Assignment of Engagement Teams Engagement Partners (Ref: par. 33)

A25. In most cases, an engagement partner will have gained the necessary competencies through relevant and appropriate experience in engagements covered by this SQCS. In some cases, however, an engagement partner may have obtained the necessary competencies through disciplines other than the practice of public accounting, such as in relevant industry, governmental, and academic positions. When necessary, the experience of the engagement partner may be supplemented by CPE and consultation. The following are examples:

* An engagement partner whose recent experience has consisted primarily in providing tax services may acquire the competencies necessary in the circumstances to perform a compilation or review engagement by obtaining relevant CPE.

* An engagement partner whose experience consists of performing review and compilation engagements may be able to obtain the necessary competencies to perform an audit by becoming familiar with the industry in which the client operates, obtaining CPE relating to auditing, using consulting sources during the course of performing the audit engagement, or any combination of these.

* A person in academia might obtain the necessary competencies to perform engagements covered by this statement by (a) obtaining specialized spe·cial·ize  
v. spe·cial·ized, spe·cial·iz·ing, spe·cial·iz·es

v.intr.
1. To pursue a special activity, occupation, or field of study.

2.
 knowledge through teaching or authorship of research projects or similar papers and (b) performing a rigorous self-study program or by engaging a consultant to assist on such engagements.

A26. The characteristics of a particular client, industry, and the kind of service being provided determine the nature and extent of competencies established by a firm that are expected of the engagement partner. For example

* the competencies expected of an engagement partner to compile To translate a program written in a high-level programming language into machine language. See compiler.  financial statements would be different than those expected of a practitioner engaged to review or audit financial statements.

* supervising engagements and signing or authorizing others to sign reports for clients in certain industries or engagements, such as financial services The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page.
, governmental, or employee benefit plan engagements, would require different competencies than those expected in performing attest services for clients in other industries.

* the engagement partner for an attestation engagement to examine the effectiveness of an entity's internal control over financial reporting that is integrated with an audit of financial statements would be expected to have technical proficiency pro·fi·cien·cy  
n. pl. pro·fi·cien·cies
The state or quality of being proficient; competence.

Noun 1. proficiency - the quality of having great facility and competence
 in understanding and evaluating the effectiveness of controls, whereas an engagement partner of an attestation engagement to examine investment performance statistics would be expected to have different competencies, including an understanding of the subject matter of the underlying assertion (programming) assertion - 1. An expression which, if false, indicates an error. Assertions are used for debugging by catching can't happen errors.

2. In logic programming, a new fact or rule added to the database by the program at run time.
.

A27. In practice, the competencies necessary for the engagement partner are broad and varied in both their nature and number. Competencies include the following, as well as other competencies as necessary in the circumstances:

* Understanding of the role of a system of quality control and the Code of Professional Conduct. An understanding of the role of a firm's system of quality control and the AICPA's Code of Professional Conduct, both of which play critical roles in assuring the integrity of the various kinds of reports.

* Understanding of the service to be performed. An understanding of the performance, supervision, and reporting aspects of the engagement. This understanding is usually gained through actual participation under appropriate supervision in that type of engagement.

* Technical proficiency. An understanding of the applicable professional standards, including those standards directly related to the industry in which a client operates, and the kinds of transactions in which a client engages.

* Familiarity with the industry. An understanding of the industry in which a client operates to the extent required by professional standards applicable to the kind of service being performed. In performing an audit or review of financial statements, this understanding would include an industry's organization and operating characteristics sufficient to identify areas of high or unusual risk associated with an engagement and to evaluate the reasonableness of industry-specific estimates.

* Professional judgment. Skills that indicate sound professional judgment. In performing engagements covered by this statement, such skills would typically include the ability to exercise professional skepticism skepticism (skĕp`tĭsĭzəm) [Gr.,=to reflect], philosophic position holding that the possibility of knowledge is limited either because of the limitations of the mind or because of the inaccessibility of its object.  and identify areas requiring special consideration, including, for example, the evaluation of the reasonableness of estimates and representations made by management and the determination of the kind of report appropriate in the circumstances.

* Understanding the organization's IT systems. A sufficient understanding of how the organization is dependent on, or enabled by, information technologies and the manner in which the information systems are used to record and maintain financial information to determine when involvement of an IT professional is necessary for an audit engagement.

Interrelationship in·ter·re·late  
tr. & intr.v. in·ter·re·lat·ed, in·ter·re·lat·ing, in·ter·re·lates
To place in or come into mutual relationship.



in
 of Competencies and Other Elements of a Firm's System of Quality Control

A28. The competencies previously listed are interrelated in·ter·re·late  
tr. & intr.v. in·ter·re·lat·ed, in·ter·re·lat·ing, in·ter·re·lates
To place in or come into mutual relationship.



in
 and gaining one particular competency may be related to achieving another. For example, familiarity with the client's industry interrelates with a practitioner's ability to make professional judgments relating to the client.

A29. In establishing policies and procedures related to the nature of competencies needed by the engagement partner of an engagement, a firm may consider the requirements of policies and procedures established for other elements of quality control. For example, a firm might consider its requirements related to engagement performance in determaining the nature of competency requirements that describe the degree of technical proficiency necessary in a given set of circumstances.

A30. Policies and procedures may include systems to monitor the workload The term workload can refer to a number of different yet related entities. An amount of labor
While a precise definition of a workload is elusive, a commonly accepted definition is the hypothetical relationship between a group or individual human operator and task demands.
 and availability of engagement partners so as to enable these individuals to have sufficient time to adequately discharge To liberate or free; to terminate or extinguish. A discharge is the act or instrument by which a contract or agreement is ended. A mortgage is discharged if it has been carried out to the full extent originally contemplated or terminated prior to total execution.  their responsibilities.

Engagement Teams (Ref: par. 34)

A31. The firm's assignment of engagement teams and the determination of the level of supervision required include, for example, consideration of the engagement team's

* understanding of, and practical experience with, engagements of a similar nature and complexity through appropriate training and participation;

* understanding of professional standards and legal and regulatory requirements;

* technical knowledge and expertise, including knowledge of relevant IT;

* knowledge of relevant industries in which the clients operate;

* ability to apply professional judgment; and * understanding of the firm's quality control policies and procedures.

Generally, as the ability and experience levels of assigned staff increase, the need for direct supervision decreases.

Engagement Performance Consistency in the Quality of Engagement Performance (Ref: par. 35(a))

A32. The firm promotes consistency in the quality of engagement performance through its policies and procedures. This is often accomplished through written or electronic manuals, software tools or other forms of standardized documentation, and industry or subject matter-specific guidance materials. Matters addressed may include the following:

* How engagement teams are briefed on the engagement to obtain an understanding of the objectives of their work

* Processes for complying with applicable engagement standards

* Processes of engagement supervision, staff training, and mentoring

* Methods of reviewing the work performed, the significant judgments made, and the type of report being issued

* Appropriate documentation of the work performed and of the timing and extent of the review

* Processes to keep all policies and procedures current

A33. Appropriate teamwork (product, software, tool) Teamwork - A SASD tool from Sterling Software, formerly CADRE Technologies, which supports the Shlaer/Mellor Object-Oriented method and the Yourdon-DeMarco, Hatley-Pirbhai, Constantine and Buhr notations.  and training assist less experienced members of the engagement team to clearly understand the objectives of the assigned work.

Supervision (Ref: par. 35(b)) A34. Engagement supervision includes the following:

* Tracking the progress of the engagement

* Considering the competence and capabilities of individual members of the engagement team, whether they have sufficient time to carry out their work, whether they understand their instructions, and whether the work is being carried out in accordance with the planned approach to the engagement

* Addressing significant findings and issues arising during the engagement, considering their significance, and modifying the planned approach appropriately

* Identifying matters for consultation or consideration by more experienced engagement team members during the engagement

Review (Ref: par. 35(c))

A35. A review consists of consideration of whether

* the work has been performed in accordance with professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements;

* significant findings and issues have been raised for further consideration;

* appropriate consultations have taken place and the resulting conclusions have been documented and implemented;

* the nature, timing, and extent of the work performed is appropriate and without need for revision (programming) revision - A release of a piece of software which is not a major release or a bugfix, but only introduces small changes or new features. ;

* the work performed supports the conclusions reached and is appropriately documented;

* the evidence obtained is sufficient and appropriate to support the report; and

* the objectives of the engagement procedures have been achieved.

Consultation (Ref: par. 37)

A36. Consultation includes discussion at the appropriate professional level with individuals within or outside the firm who have relevant specialized expertise.

A37. Consultation uses appropriate research resources, as well as the collective experience and technical expertise of the firm. Consultation helps promote quality and improves the application of professional judgment. Appropriate recognition of consultation in the firm's policies and procedures helps promote a culture in which consultation is recognized as a strength and personnel are encouraged to consult on difficult or contentious issues.

A38. Effective consultation on significant technical, ethical, and other matters within the firm or, when applicable, outside the firm can be achieved when those consulted

* are given all the relevant facts that will enable them to provide informed advice and

* have appropriate knowledge, authority, and experience

and when conclusions resulting from consultations are appropriately documented and implemented.

A39. Documentation that is sufficiently complete and detailed of consultations with other professionals that involve difficult or contentious matters contributes to an understanding of

* the issue on which consultation was sought and

* the results of the consultation, including any decisions made, the basis for those decisions, and how they were implemented.

Considerations Specific to Smaller Firms

A40. A firm needing to consult externally may take advantage of advisory services advisory services

advisory services provided to the public, in their capacity as owners and managers of animals, are an important part of veterinary science. They may be provided by government bureaux, by commercial companies who deal in pharmaceuticals or animals or animal
 provided by the following:

* Other firms

* Professional and regulatory bodies

* Commercial organizations that provide relevant quality control services

Before contracting for such services, consideration of the competence and capabilities of the external provider helps the firm determine whether the external provider is suitably qualified for that purpose.

Engagement Quality Control Review

Criteria for an Engagement Quality Control Review (Ref: par. 38)

A41. The structure and nature of the firm's practice are important considerations in establishing criteria for determining which engagements are to be subject to an engagement quality control review. Such criteria may include, for example, the following:

* The nature of the engagement, including the extent to which it involves a matter of public interest

* The identification of unusual circumstances or risks in an engagement or class of engagements

* Whether laws or regulations require an engagement quality control review

Nature, Timing, and Extent of the Engagement Quality Control Review (Ref: par. 40-41)

A42. An engagement quality control review may include consideration of the following:

* The engagement team's evaluation of the firm's independence in relation to the specific engagement

* Whether appropriate consultation has taken place on matters involving differences of opinion or other difficult or contentious matters and the conclusions arising from those consultations * Whether documentation selected for review reflects the work performed in relation to the significant judgments and supports the conclusions reached

A43. If the engagement quality control review is completed after the report is dated and identifies instances where additional procedures are needed or additional evidence is required, the date of the report is changed to the date when the additional procedures have been satisfactorily completed or the additional evidence has been obtained, in accordance with the professional standards applicable to the engagement.

A44. Conducting the engagement quality control review in a timely manner at appropriate stages during the engagement allows significant issues to be promptly resolved to the engagement quality control reviewer's satisfaction before the report is released.

A45. The extent of the engagement quality control review may depend upon, among other things, the complexity of the engagement and the risk that the report might not be appropriate in the circumstances. The performance of an engagement quality control review does not reduce the responsibilities of the engagement partner.

A46. Other matters relevant to evaluating the significant judgments made by the engagement team that may be considered in an engagement quality control review for audits, as well as reviews of financial statements and other assurance and related services engagements, include the following:

* Significant risks identified during the engagement and the responses to those risks

* Judgments made, particularly with respect to materiality MATERIALITY. That which is important; that which is not merely of form but of substance.
     2. When a bill for discovery has been filed, for example, the defendant must answer every material fact which is charged in the bill, and the test in these cases seems to
 and significant risks

* The significance and disposition Act of disposing; transferring to the care or possession of another. The parting with, alienation of, or giving up of property. The final settlement of a matter and, with reference to decisions announced by a court, a judge's ruling is commonly referred to as disposition, regardless of  of corrected and uncorrected misstatements identified during the engagement

* The matters to be communicated to management and those charged with governance and, when applicable, other parties, such as regulatory bodies

A47. When the engagement quality control reviewer makes recommendations that the engagement partner does not accept and the matter is not resolved to the reviewers satisfaction, the firm's procedures for dealing with differences of opinion apply

Criteria for the Eligibility of Engagement Quality Control Reviewers

Sufficient and Appropriate Technical Expertise, Experience, and Authority (Ref: par. 42(a))

A48. What constitutes sufficient and appropriate technical expertise, experience, and authority depends on the circumstances of the engagement.

Consultation With the Engagement Quality Control Reviewer (Ref: par. 42(b))

A49. The engagement partner may consult the engagement quality control reviewer at any stage during the engagement (for example, to establish that a judgment made by the engagement partner will be acceptable to the engagement quality control reviewer). Such consultation avoids identification of differences of opinion at a late stage of the engagement and does not necessarily impair im·pair  
tr.v. im·paired, im·pair·ing, im·pairs
To cause to diminish, as in strength, value, or quality: an injury that impaired my hearing; a severe storm impairing communications.
 the engagement quality control reviewer's eligibility to perform the role. When the nature and extent of the consultations become significant, the reviewer's objectivity may be impaired unless both the engagement team and the reviewer are careful to maintain the reviewer's objectivity. When this is not possible, another individual within the firm or a suitably qualified external person may be appointed ap·point  
tr.v. ap·point·ed, ap·point·ing, ap·points
1. To select or designate to fill an office or a position: appointed her the chief operating officer of the company.

2.
 to take on the role of either the engagement quality control reviewer or the person to be consulted on the engagement.

Objectivity of the Engagement Quality Control Reviewer (Ref: par. 43-44)

Considerations Specific to Smaller Firms

A50. Suitably qualified external persons may be contracted when sole practitioners or small firms identify engagements requiring engagement quality control reviews and no person in the firm meets the eligibility requirements for an engagement quality control reviewer. Alternatively, some sole practitioners or small firms may wish to use other firms to facilitate engagement quality control reviews. When the firm contracts suitably qualified external persons or other firms, the requirements in paragraphs 43-44 and the guidance in paragraph A49 apply

Differences of Opinion (Ref: par. 46)

A51. Effective procedures encourage identification of differences of opinion at an early stage, provide clear guidelines guidelines,
n.pl a set of standards, criteria, or specifications to be used or followed in the performance of certain tasks.
 about the successive steps to be taken thereafter, and require documentation regarding the resolution of the differences and the implementation of the conclusions reached.

A52. Procedures to resolve such differences may include consulting with another practitioner or firm or a professional or regulatory body

Engagement Documentation

Completion of the Assembly of Final Engagement Files (Ref: par. 49)

A53. Professional standards, law, or regulation may prescribe pre·scribe
v.
To give directions, either orally or in writing, for the preparation and administration of a remedy to be used in the treatment of a disease.
 the time limits by which the assembly of final engagement files for specific types of engagements is to be completed. When no such time limits are prescribed pre·scribe  
v. pre·scribed, pre·scrib·ing, pre·scribes

v.tr.
1. To set down as a rule or guide; enjoin. See Synonyms at dictate.

2. To order the use of (a medicine or other treatment).
, paragraph 49 requires the firm to establish time limits that reflect the need to complete the assembly of final engagement files on a timely basis.

A54. When two or more different reports are issued regarding the same subject matter information of an entity, the firm's policies and procedures relating to time limits for the assembly of final engagement files address each report as if it were for a separate engagement. This may, for example, be the case when the firm issues an auditor's report on financial information prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles The standard accounting rules, regulations, and procedures used by companies in maintaining their financial records.

Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) provide companies and accountants with a consistent set of guidelines that cover both broad accounting
 and, at a subsequent date, an auditor's report on the same financial information prepared in accordance with a special purpose framework for regulatory purposes.

Confidentiality, Safe Custody, Integrity, Accessibility, and Retrievability of Engagement Documentation (Ref: par. 50)

A55. Relevant ethical requirements establish an obligation for the firm's personnel to observe at all times the confidentiality of information contained in engagement documentation, unless specific client authority has been given to disclose information or a legal or professional duty exists to do so. Specific laws or regulations may impose additional obligations on the firm's personnel to maintain client confidentiality The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page.
, particularly when data of a personal nature are concerned.

A56. Whether engagement documentation is in paper, electronic, or other media, the integrity, accessibility, or retrievability of the underlying data may be compromised if the documentation could be altered, added to, or deleted Deleted

A security that is no longer included on a specified market. Sometimes referred to as "delisted".

Notes:
Reasons for delisting include violating regulations, failing to meet financial specifications set out by the stock exchange and going bankrupt.
 without the firm's knowledge or if it could be permanently lost or damaged. Accordingly, controls that the firm designs and implements to avoid unauthorized alteration Modification; changing a thing without obliterating it.

An alteration is a variation made in the language or terms of a legal document that affects the rights and obligations of the parties to it.
 or loss of engagement documentation may include those that

* enable the determination of when and by whom engagement documentation was prepared or reviewed;

* protect the integrity of the information at all stages of the engagement, especially when the information is shared within the engagement team or transmitted to other parties via electronic means;

* prevent unauthorized changes to the engagement documentation; and

* allow access to the engagement documentation by the engagement team and other authorized parties, as necessary, to properly discharge their responsibilities.

A57. Controls that the firm designs and implements to maintain the confidentiality, safe custody, integrity, accessibility, and retrievability of engagement documentation may include the following:

* The use of a password A secret word or code used to serve as a security measure against unauthorized access to data. It is normally managed by the operating system or DBMS. However, the computer can only verify the legitimacy of the password, not the legitimacy of the user. See NCSC.  by engagement team members and data encryption data encryption, the process of scrambling stored or transmitted information so that it is unintelligible until it is unscrambled by the intended recipient. Historically, data encryption has been used primarily to protect diplomatic and military secrets from foreign  to restrict In the C programming language, the data pointed to by a pointer declared with the restrict qualifier may not be pointed to by any other pointer. This allows for more effective optimization.  access to electronic engagement documentation to authorized users

* Appropriate back-up routines for electronic engagement documentation at appropriate stages during the engagement

* Procedures for properly distributing engagement documentation to the team members at the start of the engagement, processing it during the engagement, and collating it at the end of the engagement

* Procedures for restricting re·strict  
tr.v. re·strict·ed, re·strict·ing, re·stricts
To keep or confine within limits. See Synonyms at limit.



[Latin restringere, restrict- : re-,
 access to, and enabling proper distribution and confidential confidential,
adj pertaining to information that is only shared with those directly responsible for patient care.
 storage of, hard copy engagement documentation

A58. For practical reasons, original paper documentation may be electronically scanned or otherwise copied to another media for inclusion in engagement files. In such cases, the firm's procedures designed to maintain the integrity, accessibility, and retrievability of the documentation may include requiring the engagement teams to

* generate scanned copies that reflect the entire content of the original paper documentation, including manual signatures, cross-references, and annotations.

* integrate the scanned copies into the engagement files, including indexing and signing off on the scanned copies as necessary

* enable the scanned copies to be retrieved and printed as necessary

There may be legal, regulatory, or other reasons for a firm to retain original paper documentation.

Retention of Engagement Documentation (Ref: par. 51)

A59. The needs of the firm for retention of engagement documentation and the period of such retention will vary with the nature of the engagement and the firm's circumstances (for example, whether the engagement documentation is needed to provide a record of matters of continuing significance to future engagements). The retention period may also depend on other factors, such as whether professional standards, law, or regulation prescribe specific retention periods for certain types of engagements or whether generally accepted retention periods exist in the absence of specific legal or regulatory requirements.

A60. In the specific case of audit engagements, the retention period would be no shorter than five years from the report release date. (3)

A61. Procedures that the firm may adopt for retention of engagement documentation include those that enable the requirements of paragraph 51 to be met during the retention period, such as, for example, procedures to

* enable the retrieval retrieval /re·triev·al/ (-tre´v'l) in psychology, the process of obtaining memory information from wherever it has been stored.

re·triev·al
n.
 of, and access to, the engagement documentation during the retention period, particularly in the case of electronic documentation because the underlying technology may be upgraded or changed over time.

* provide, when necessary, a record of changes made to engagement documentation after the assembly of engagement files has been completed.

* enable authorized external parties to access and review specific engagement documentation for quality control or other purposes.

Ownership of Engagement Documentation

A62. Unless otherwise specified by law or regulation, engagement documentation is the property of the firm. The firm may, at its discretion, make portions of, or extracts from, engagement documentation available to clients, provided that such disclosure does not undermine undermine,
v to separate surgically the skin or mucosa from its underlying stroma so that it can be stretched or moved to cover a defect or wound.
 the validity of the work performed or, in the case of assurance engagements, the independence of the firm or its personnel.

Monitoring Monitoring the Firm's Quality Control Policies and Procedures (Ref: par. 52)

A63. The purpose of monitoring compliance with quality control policies and procedures is to assess, for the system of quality control as a whole, whether the firm is achieving the objective described in paragraph 12 through an evaluation of the following:

* Adherence to professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements

* Whether the system of quality control has been appropriately designed and effectively implemented

* Whether the firm's quality control policies and procedures have been operating effectively so that reports that are issued by the firm are appropriate in the circumstances

The evaluation may identify circumstances that necessitate ne·ces·si·tate  
tr.v. ne·ces·si·tat·ed, ne·ces·si·tat·ing, ne·ces·si·tates
1. To make necessary or unavoidable.

2. To require or compel.
 changes to, or improve compliance with, the firm's policies and procedures to provide the firm with reasonable assurance that its system of quality control is effective.

A64. Ongoing consideration and evaluation of the system of quality control may include matters such as the following:

* Review of selected administrative and personnel records pertaining per·tain  
intr.v. per·tained, per·tain·ing, per·tains
1. To have reference; relate: evidence that pertains to the accident.

2.
 to the quality control elements

* Review of engagement documentation, reports, and clients' financial statements

* Discussions with the firm's personnel

* Determination of corrective cor·rec·tive
adj.
Counteracting or modifying what is malfunctioning, undesirable, or injurious.

n.
An agent that corrects.


corrective,
n
 actions to be taken and improvements to be made in the system, including providing feedback into the firm's policies and procedures relating to education and training

* Communication to appropriate firm personnel of weaknesses identified in the system, in the level of understanding of the system, or compliance with the system

* Follow-up follow-up,
n the process of monitoring the progress of a patient after a period of active treatment.


follow-up

subsequent.


follow-up plan
 by appropriate firm personnel so that necessary modifications are promptly made to the quality control policies and procedures

A65. Monitoring procedures also may include an assessment of the following:

* The appropriateness of the firm's guidance materials and any practice aids

* New developments in professional standards and legal and regulatory requirements and how they are reflected in the firm's policies and procedures, when appropriate

* Written confirmation of compliance with policies and procedures on independence

* The effectiveness of continuing professional development, including training

* Decisions related to acceptance and continuance of client relationships and specific engagements

* Firm personnel's understanding of the firm's quality control policies and procedures and implementation thereof

A66. Some of the monitoring procedures discussed previously may be accomplished through the performance of the following:

* Engagement quality control review * Review of engagement documentation, reports, and clients' financial statements for selected engagements after the report release date

* Inspection procedures

Reviews of the work or report when performed by engagement team members prior to the date of the report are not monitoring procedures.

A67. The need for, and extent of, inspection procedures depends, in part, on the existence and effectiveness of the other monitoring procedures. The nature of inspection procedures varies based on the firm's quality control policies and procedures and the effectiveness and results of other monitoring procedures.

A68. The inspection of a selection of completed engagements may be performed on a cyclical cyclical

Of or relating to a variable, such as housing starts, car sales, or the price of a certain stock, that is subject to regular or irregular up-and-down movements.
 basis. For example, engagements selected for inspection may include at least one engagement for each engagement partner over an inspection cycle that spans three years. The manner in which the inspection cycle is organized, including the timing of selection of individual engagements, depends on many factors, such as the following:

* The size of the firm

* The number and geographical ge·o·graph·ic   also ge·o·graph·i·cal
adj.
1. Of or relating to geography.

2. Concerning the topography of a specific region.



ge
 location of offices

* The results of previous monitoring procedures

* The degree of authority of both personnel and office (for example, whether individual offices are authorized to conduct their own inspections or whether only the head office may conduct them)

* The nature and complexity of the firm's practice and organization

* The risks associated with the firm's clients and specific engagements

A69. Inspection procedures with respect to the engagement performance element of a quality control system are particularly appropriate in a firm with more than a limited number of management-level individuals responsible for the conduct of its accounting and auditing practice.

A70. The inspection process involves the selection of individual engagements, some of which may be selected without prior notification to the engagement team. In determining the scope of the inspections, the firm may take into account the scope or conclusions of a peer review or regulatory inspections.

The Relationship of Peer Review to Monitoring

A71. A peer review does not substitute for all monitoring procedures. However, because the objective of a peer review is similar to that of inspection procedures, a firm's quality control policies and procedures may provide that a peer review conducted under standards established by the AICPA may substitute for the inspection of engagement documentation, reports, and clients' financial statements for some or all engagements for the period covered by the peer review.

Considerations Specific to Smaller Firms

A72. In small firms with a limited number of persons with sufficient and appropriate experience and authority in the firm, monitoring procedures may need to be performed by some of the same individuals who are responsible for compliance with the firm's quality control policies and procedures. This includes review of engagement working papers, reports, and clients' financial statements by the engagement partner or other qualified personnel after the report release date. To effectively monitor one's own compliance with the firm's policies and procedures, it is necessary that an individual be able to critically review his or her own performance, assess his or her own strengths and weaknesses, and maintain an attitude of continual improvement Continual Improvement (also called incremental improvement or staircase improvement) is a process or productivity improvement tool intended to have a stable and consistent growth and improvement of all the segments of a process or processes. . Changes in conditions and the environment within the firm (such as obtaining clients in an industry not previously serviced or significantly changing the size of the firm) may indicate the need to have quality control policies and procedures monitored by another qualified individual.

A73. Having an individual inspect his or her own compliance with a quality control system may be less effective than having such compliance inspected by another qualified individual. When one individual inspects his or her own compliance, the firm has a higher risk that noncompliance with policies and procedures will not be detected. Accordingly, a firm with a limited number of persons with sufficient and appropriate experience and authority in the firm may find it beneficial to engage a suitably qualified external person or another firm to perform engagement inspections and other monitoring procedures.

Communicating Deficiencies (Ref: par. 55)

A74. The reporting of identified deficiencies to individuals other than the relevant engagement partners need not include an identification of the specific engagements concerned, unless such identification is necessary for the proper discharge of the responsibilities of the individuals other than the engagement partners.

Complaints and Allegations Source of Complaints and Allegations (Ref: par. 60)

A75. Complaints and allegations of noncompliance with the firm's system of quality control (which do not include those that are clearly frivolous Of minimal importance; legally worthless.

A frivolous suit is one without any legal merit. In some cases, such an action might be brought in bad faith for the purpose of harrassing the defendant.
) may originate o·rig·i·nate
v.
1. To bring into being; create.

2. To come into being; start.
 from within or outside the firm. They may be made by firm personnel, clients, state boards of accountancy, other regulators, or other third parties. They may be received by engagement team members or other firm personnel.

Investigation Policies and Procedures (Ref: par. 61)

A76. Policies and procedures established for the investigation of complaints and allegations may include, for example, that the partner supervising the investigation

* has sufficient and appropriate experience,

* has authority within the firm, and

* is otherwise not involved in the engagement. The partner supervising the investigation may involve legal counsel as necessary.

Considerations Specific to Smaller Firms

A77. In the case of firms with few partners, it may not be practicable for the partner supervising the investigation not to be involved in the engagement. These small firms and sole practitioners may use the services of a suitably qualified external person or another firm to carry out the investigation into complaints and allegations.

Documentation of the System of Quality Control (Ref: par. 62)

A78. The form and content of documentation evidencing the operation of each of the elements of the system of quality control is a matter of judgment and depends on a number of factors, including the following:

* The size of the firm and the number of offices

* The nature and complexity of the firm's practice and organization

For example, large firms may use electronic databases to document matters such as independence confirmations, performance evaluations, and the results of monitoring inspections.

A79. Appropriate documentation relating to monitoring includes, for example, the following:

* Monitoring procedures, including the procedure for selecting completed engagements to be inspected

* A record of the evaluation of the following:

--Adherence to professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements

--Whether the system of quality control has been appropriately designed and effectively implemented

--Whether the firm's quality control policies and procedures have been appropriately applied so that the reports that are issued by the firm are appropriate in the circumstances

* Identification of the deficiencies noted, an evaluation of their effect, and the basis for determining whether and what further action is necessary

Considerations Specific to Smaller Firms

A80. Smaller firms may use more informal methods in the documentation of their systems of quality control, such as manual notes, checklists, and forms.

A81.

EXHIBIT A: COMPARISON OF STATEMENT ON QUALITY CONTROL STANDARDS NO. 8, A FIRM'S SYSTEM OF QUALITY CONTROL (REDRAFTED), WITH INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ON QUALITY CONTROL 1, QUALITY CONTROL FOR FIRMS THAT PERFORM AUDITS AND REVIEWS OF FINANCIAL STATEMENTS, AND OTHER ASSURANCE AND RELATED SERVICES ENGAGEMENTS

This analysis was prepared by the Audit and Attest Standards staff to highlight substantive Substantive may refer to:

In grammar:
  • a noun substantive, now also called simply noun
  • a verb substantive, a verb like English "be" when expressing existence (in contrast to use as a copula)
In law:
 differences between Statement on Quality Control Standards (SQCS) No. 8, A Firm's System of Quality Control (Redrafted) (AICPA, Professional Standards, vol. 2), and International Standard on Quality Control (ISQC) 1, Quality Control for Firms that Perform Audits and Reviews of Financial Statements, and Other Assurance and Related Services Engagements, and the rationale therefore. This analysis is not authoritative and is prepared for informational purposes only. It has not been acted on or reviewed by the Auditing Standards Board (ASB).

Differences in Language

The ASB has made various changes to the language throughout the SQCS, as compared with ISQC 1.

Such changes have been made to use terms applicable in the United States and to make the SQCS easier to read and apply. The ASB believes that such changes will not create differences between the application of ISQC 1 and the application of the SQCS.

Requirements in the SQCS Not in ISQC 1

The SQCS requires firms to establish policies and procedures providing

* in paragraph 30, for obtaining an understanding with the client regarding the nature, scope, and limitations of the services to be performed.

* in paragraph 31, that personnel selected for advancement have the qualifications necessary for fulfillment of the responsibilities they will be called on to assume.

* in paragraph 44, that although the engagement quality control reviewer is not a member of the engagement team, the engagement quality control reviewer should satisfy the independence requirements relating to the engagements reviewed.

* in paragraph 48, that when differences of opinion exist, a member of the engagement team be able to document that member's disagreement with the conclusions reached, after appropriate consultation.

ISQC 1 does not have equivalent requirements.

Requirements in ISQC 1 Not in the SQCS

Paragraph 25 of ISQC 1 requires the firm to establish policies and procedures setting out criteria for determining the need for safeguards to reduce the familiarity threat to an acceptable level when using the same senior personnel on an assurance engagement over a long period of time. The ASB believes that the familiarity threat should not be singled out among other threats to independence.

Paragraph 48(a) of ISQC 1 requires including, on a cyclical basis, inspection of at least one completed engagement for each engagement partner as a monitoring procedure. The ASB believes that this requirement is overly prescriptive pre·scrip·tive  
adj.
1. Sanctioned or authorized by long-standing custom or usage.

2. Making or giving injunctions, directions, laws, or rules.

3. Law Acquired by or based on uninterrupted possession.
 and that a risk-based approach to inspections is more appropriate.

Requirements in ISQC 1 Revised in the SQCS

Paragraph 40 of the SQCS requires that when an engagement quality control review is performed, the engagement quality control review be completed before the report is released. Paragraph 36 of ISQC i requires that the quality control review be completed before the report is dated. The ASB believes that an engagement quality control review is an independent review of the engagement team's significant judgments, including the date selected by the engagement team to date the report. As noted in the application material to the SQCS, when the engagement quality control review results in additional procedures having to be performed, the date of the report would be changed.

Paragraph 48(c) of ISQC 1 requires that those performing the engagement or the engagement quality control review are not involved in inspecting the engagements. Paragraph 52(c) of the SQCS, consistent with the requirement in paragraph. 100 of SQCS No. 7, A Firm's System of Quality Control (AICPA, Professional Standards, vol. 2, QC sec. 10), requires that performance of monitoring of the firm's system of quality control be assigned to qualified individuals. Paragraph A72 of the SQCS notes that in small firms with a limited number of persons with sufficient and appropriate experience and authority in the firm, monitoring procedures may need to be performed by some of the same individuals who are responsible for compliance with the firm's quality control policies and procedures. The ASB concluded that it was not necessary to change existing practice because in the United States, the peer review process provides a safeguard and provides evidence that the monitoring procedures are effective.

Paragraph A49 of ISQC i references the requirement in paragraph 40 of ISQC 1 to establish policies and procedures to maintain the objectivity of the engagement quality control reviewer and states, "Accordingly, such policies and procedures provide .... " The ASB believes that notwithstanding its placement as application material, the language is indicative indicative: see mood.  of a requirement and, accordingly, has included a requirement for the provision of these specific policies and procedures in paragraph 43 of the SQCS. The ASB believes this will not create a difference in the application of ISQC I and the application of the SQCS.
Auditing Standards Board
(2009-2010)

Darrel R. Schubert, Chair   Kenneth R. Odom
Ernest F. Baugh, Jr.        Thomas A. Ratcliffe
Sheila M. Birch             Brian R. Richson
Brian Bluhm                 Randy C. Roberts
Robert E. Chevalier         Thomas M. Stemlar
Jacob J. Cohen              Mark H. Taylor
David Duree                 H. Steven Vogel
Charles E. Frasier          Phil D. Wedemeyer
Andrew M. Mintzer           Megan F. Zietsman
David Morris

Quality Control Task Force

Sheila M. Birch, Chair   Robert D. Dohrer
Marcia Buchanan          Randy C. Roberts
James Dalkin             Richard W. Reeder

The Auditing Standards Board and the Quality
Control Task Force acknowledge the contributions
of David T. Brumbeloe.

AICPA Staff

Charles E. Landes        Ahava Z. Goldman
Vice President           Technical Manager
Professional Standards   Audit and Attest
and Services              Standards

Richard Miller
General Counsel


Note: Statements on Quality Control Standards are issued by the Auditing Standards Board, the senior technical body of the Institute designated to issue pronouncements on auditing, attestation, and quality control matters. Rule 202, Compliance With Standards, of the Institute's Code of Professional Conduct requires AICPA members who perform professional services to comply with these standards.

CLARIFIED STATEMENTS ON AUDITING STANDARDS Statements on Auditing Standards, commonly abbreviated as SAS, provide guidance to external auditors on generally accepted auditing standards (abbreviated as GAAS) in regards to auditing an entity and issuing a report.  

Note: All clarified Statements on Auditing Standards (SASs) will have the same effective date. Upon the issuance of all clarified SASs, one SAS will be issued containing all clarified SASs in codified cod·i·fy  
tr.v. cod·i·fied, cod·i·fy·ing, cod·i·fies
1. To reduce to a code: codify laws.

2. To arrange or systematize.
 format.

(1.) Paragraph 6 of the proposed Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) Using the Work of an Auditor's Specialist defines the term auditor's specialist.

(2.) PR section 100, Standards for Performing and Reporting on Peer Reviews (AICPA, Professional Standards. vol. 2), is applicable to firms enrolled in the AICPA Peer Review Program.

(3.) Paragraph 17 of the clarified SAS Audit Documentation (Redrafted).
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