The Institute of Public Accountant’s Public Practice Quality Assurance Program


The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) conducts public practice quality assurance reviews to ensure its members comply with the mandatory pronouncements issued by the APES Board, and with other mandatory IPA standards. Its Public Practice Quality Assurance Program aims to maintain a consistently high standard of quality and service for practices’ clients.

Quality Assurance for Accountants has prepared an eBook to help you understand the IPA public practice quality assurance (PPQA) review process.



What happens in a PPQA review?


All IPA Public Practice Certificate holders (IPCs) are required to participate in a PPQA review at least every three to five years.

Summary of the PPQA review process:

  • A member completes an online questionnaire and sends relevant documentary evidence to the IPA.
  • An IPA reviewer will assess the member’s answers and documents.
  • If found to be non-compliant with mandatory standards, the member will be required to rectify the issues by a specific date. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action.
  • In some instances, the IPA reviewer may conduct a face-to-face review at the member’s business premises after completion of the online questionnaire.
  • The IPA reviewer will determine whether the practice complies with mandatory standards for a successful review outcome.

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.