QUALITY ASSURANCE METHODOLOGY
Quality Assurance is a regulatory process which monitors auditors' compliance with relevant professional standards in the performance of the attest function. Section 21 (h) of the PAA Act bestows upon PAAB the power to "to take any steps which it may consider expedient for the maintenance of the integrity, the enhancement of the status and the improvement of the standards of professional qualifications of accountants and auditors and to encourage research in connection with problems relating to any matter affecting the accounting profession;".
In the regulatory world, audits are referred to as engagements. Engagements that are subject to PAAB's Quality Assurance review processes are audits of financial statements. During this process, reviewers consider the following elements of an audit firm's internal control system:
- leadership responsibilites,
- ethical requirements,
- client acceptance and continuance procedures,
- human resource policies and procedures, and
- engagement performance and monitoring.
QUALITY ASSURANCE REVIEW CYCLES
Every RAA and audit firm registered with PAAB are subject to PAAB Quality Assurance reviews. These reviews are performed in cycles.
The firm's review checks the firm's internal controls and whether these are in place and meet the standards.
The individual auditor/practitioner's review checks individual audit files and whether or not the practitioner maintained all relevant standards while conducting the audit.
The outcomes of both firm and file reviews can be either satisfactory or unsatisfactory. A satisfactory review outcome means that the firm/practitioner adhered to standards and will be due for their next review after three (3) years. An unsatisfactory review outcome means that the firm/practitioner needs improvement in certain areas, and will be due for a re-review after one (1) year.