What is the APES 320 (Quality control for firms)?
APES 320 (Quality control for firms) is a standard set by the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB) that requires firms to establish and maintain a system of quality control, including policies and procedures.
This ensures accounting firms and their personnel comply with professional standards, relevant ethical requirements, and applicable legal and regulatory requirements. It also gives the board assurance that reports issued by the firm or by engagement partners are appropriate in the circumstances.
What are the elements of a quality control system?
APES 320 requires documented policies and procedures regarding:
- Leadership responsibilities for quality within the Firm
- Relevant Ethical Requirements
- Acceptance and continuance of client relationships and specific engagements
- Human resources
- Engagement performance
What makes a good APES 320 quality control manual?
Your quality control manual should meet all the mandatory requirements set by the APESB and should reflect procedures that are relevant to your practice.
Note that your policies and supporting procedures in the manual should also be supported with evidence, and practised by all the firm’s personnel. Your quality controls and procedures should work together with your APES 325 Risk Management Framework to ensure consistency with your firm’s policies and procedures.
How can I prepare my APES 320 quality control manual?
Various online resources from different accounting bodies discuss how to develop a risk management framework. Yet creating a framework remains an onerous task that takes time away from your billable work.
Some online tools offer an APES 320 template. But it’s important to remember this document will only be basic – not detailed or tailored for your accounting practice, or easily updated if circumstances within the practice change.
WHY USE A QUALITY ASSURANCE CONSULTANT?
We can save you time and headaches by:
- Providing expert independent advice to help you improve areas of your accounting public practice, before it is scrutinised in a quality assurance review
- Preparing compliant APES 320 and APES 325 manuals
- Significantly increase your chances of being a compliant practice - Ensuring your quality control system meets the mandatory standards
- Eliminating the need for a full-time or part-time employee to oversee your practice’s quality control system
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