At the firm level, AAS-17 requires that the audit firm should implement quality control policies and procedures designed to ensure that all audits are conducted in accordance with Auditing and Assurance Standards (AASs). Compliance with all AASs would necessitate that the quality control policies to be adopted by a firm would incorporate that standards of professional requirements, technical competence, training, proficiency, etc. are observed at the firm level. The objective of the quality control policies to be adopted by an audit firm will ordinarily incorporate the following:
- Professional Requirements: Personnel in the firm are to adhere to the principles of Independence, Integrity, Objectivity, Confidentiality and Professional Behavior.
- Skills and Competence: The firm is to be staffed by personnel who have attained and maintain the Technical Standards and Professional Competence required to enable them to fulfil their responsibilities with Due Care.
- Assignment: Audit work is to be assigned to personnel who have the degree of technical training and proficiency required in the circumstances.
- Delegation: There is to be sufficient direction, supervision and review of work at all levels to provide reasonable assurance that the work performed meets appropriate standards of quality.
- Consultation: Whenever necessary, consultation within or outside the firm is to occur with those who have appropriate expertise.
- Acceptance and Retention of Clients: An evaluation of prospective clients and a review, on an ongoing basis, of existing clients is to be conducted. In making a decision to accept or retain a client, the firm’s independence and ability to serve the client properly are to be considered.
- Monitoring: The continued adequacy and operational effectiveness of quality control policies and procedures is to be monitored.