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Quality Assurance

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In general terms, all member firms should be able to demonstrate full compliance with the ICAEW Practice Assurance Standards. Some of the more important aspects are:

  • Do you operate a formal quality control system that includes regular cold file reviews for a sample of files for all areas of work and all partners and senior staff? Are the results documented and followed up with an action plan?
  • Is all work reviewed by partners prior to finalisation? If not, how do partners ensure work is of sufficient quality and any risk to the firm is minimised?
  • Do you have signed, up to date engagement letters for all clients (including individual directors and partners) that cover all the services provided?
  • Do you have suitably structured files for all client work, including permanent sections where relevant? Are central laws and regulations recorded for all clients (not just audit clients)?
  • Do you have formal documented systems to control tax returns and payment of tax (personal, partnership, trust and corporate)?
  • Do you have formal systems to cover other areas of tax compliance work (including enquiries, P11Ds, claims and elections etc)?
  • Do you carry out documented annual reviews for higher risk tax clients?
  • Do you use a published audit manual? When was the last update? Do you have specialist programmes for regulated clients?
  • If you have been required to give assurances following a QAD audit visit, have these been complied with?
  • Do you use accounts preparation software? When was the last update? If not, how do you ensure accounts disclosure is correct?
  • Do you use a work programme, or list of work done, for all accounts preparation jobs, including audit exempt companies? Do you follow relevant ICAEW / ICAS guidance for such work?
  • Are all significant discussions and telephone conversations with clients recorded on file?
  • Do you operate a formal training programme for all partners and professional staff? Do CPD programmes and records comply with the requirements of the ICAEW / ICAS?
  • Have money laundering procedures been updated for the latest requirements (see ICAEW Tech 04/09) and can you demonstrate that customer due diligence has been considered for every client every year?
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