Quality assurance review programs are created to provide assurances to the public that all accountants maintain a high level of competence in public practice. However, not all countries require such programs. The purpose of this research is to compare and contrast quality assurance review programs in different parts of the world in order to identify similarities and differences in these programs. In addition, the paper attempts to explain why some countries adopt quality assurance programs while others do not have such programs.
A request for information and a survey were sent to the accounting regulatory bodies who are members of the International Federations of Accountants (IFAC). In total, 44 countries responded to the survey, of which 33 have formal quality assurance programs. The survey results were analyzed to identify similarities and differences in the design and implementation of such programs and to draw conclusions from this analysis.
Analyses of the questionnaires indicate that quality assurance review programs among countries share some common features, but vary significantly in many other areas. It was also found that countries with significant stock markets tend to require quality assurance programs of their accounting firms while countries of less significant stock markets tend not to require such programs.
The conclusions are based on the countries which responded to the survey. More countries did adopt quality assurance programs subsequent to the date of a survey in 2002.
Harmonizations of accounting and auditing standards have come a long way as a response to market globalization. Regulators, such as the IFAC, Securities and Exchange Commission and its counterparts, are demanding that such programs be implemented. This study provides a comprehensive evaluation of such programs in selected countries, and thus regulators may benefit from its findings.
The paper is the first of its type. The paper will help regulators and auditing firms to gain knowledge of the quality assurance programs of selected countries and establish policies in light of these results.
Alkafaji, Y. (2007), "Quality assurance review programs of auditing firms: an international perspective", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 22 No. 7, pp. 644-660. https://doi.org/10.1108/02686900710772564Download as .RIS
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