CPA Australia’s Best Practice Program


CPA Australia conducts best-practice assessments to ensure its members comply with the mandatory pronouncements issued by the APES Board, and with other mandatory CPA standards. CPA Australia recently updated its quality review program to become its ‘Best Practice Program’, helping to maintain a consistently high standard of quality and service for practices’ clients.

Quality Assurance for Accountants has prepared an e-brochure to help you understand the process of a CPA Australia Best Practice Program Assessment.



What happens during a CPA Australia Best Practice Program Assessment?


Public Practice Certificate holders are required to undertake an assessment to review their business and mitigate risks.

Summary of the CPA Australia Best Practice Program assessment:

  • The member receives an email from their CPA Australia best practice engagement manager notifying them of an upcoming assessment.
  • The member accesses an online portal to arrange the assessment.
  • The member is required to complete a questionnaire and submit all necessary information at least five business days prior to the assessment.

IMPORTANT: Members can no longer select files for review, but must provide a complete client listing. The assessment manager will advise which files will be selected for review. This is a significant change to the past quality review program.

  • The CPA Australia best practice engagement manager conducts the assessment and presents the results to the member. (The outcome is also noted in the member’s support plan, found in the portal.)
  • The member is invited to address any mandatory findings and upload the necessary files in the portal.
  • Once there are no outstanding issues, the assessment manager provides a completion letter.

What are the complying quality control manuals for accounting firms?


APES 320 (Management for Non-Assurance Services)

This standard requires public practices to establish and maintain a System of Quality Management for non-assurance services. This should give the accounting body assurance that the firm and its personnel are complying with professional standards, ethical requirements, and other applicable legal and regulatory requirements.


ASQM1 (Quality Management for Firms that Perform Audits or Reviews of Financial Reports and Other Financial Information, or Other Assurance or Related Services Engagements)

The standard requires all firms engaging in audit and assurance services to design, implement and operate robust quality management systems and procedures.


APES 325 (Risk Management for Firms)

This standard specifies the mandatory obligations of a firm to maintain a risk management framework to identify, assess, and manage organisational risks. It documents the firm’s Risk Management Framework and how it communicates risk management policies and procedures to its personnel.




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



Talk to a quality assurance expert


Craig Allen is a former quality assurance reviewer for CPA Australia and has helped more than 500 practices in Australia as a quality assurance consultant or quality assurance reviewer. Craig has a unique perspective, having also been in public practice for more than 30 years. Talk to Craig to find out how he can help your accounting practice get ready for a quality review and attain best-practice standards.