AU-C Section 220: Quality Control for an Engagement under GAAS

 

This section addresses the specific responsibilities of the auditor regarding quality control procedures for an audit of financial statements. It also addresses, when applicable, the responsibilities of the engagement quality control reviewer.

 
AU-C Section 220.01-08: Quality Control (Scope and Objectives)
AU-C Section 220.10: Leadership Responsibilities for Quality on Audits
AU-C Section 220.11-13: Relevant Ethical Requirements
AU-C Section 220.14-15: Acceptance and Continuance of Client Relationships and Audit Engagements
AU-C Section 220.16: Assignment of Engagement Teams
AU-C Section 220.17: Engagement Partner Direction, Supervision, and Performance
AU-C Section 220.18-19: Engagement Partner Review
AU-C Section 220.20: Engagement Consultation
AU-C Section 220.21-23: Engagement Quality Control Review
AU-C Section 220.24: Monitoring Quality Control
AU-C Section 220.25-26: Documentation of Quality Control
 
 
 
 
AU-C Section 220.01-08: Quality Control (Scope and Objectives)
 
 

"Introduction

Scope of This Section

.01 This section addresses the specific responsibilities of the auditor regarding quality control procedures for an audit of financial statements. It also addresses, when applicable, the responsibilities of the engagement quality control reviewer. This section also applies, adapted as necessary, to other engagements conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS) (for example, a review of interim financial information conducted in accordance with section 930, Interim Financial Information). This section is to be read in conjunction with the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct and other relevant ethical requirements.

.02 Although Statements on Quality Control Standards are not applicable to auditors in government audit organizations, this section is applicable to auditors in government audit organizations who perform financial audits in accordance with GAAS.

System of Quality Control and the Role of the Engagement Teams

.03 Quality control systems, policies, and procedures are the responsibility of the audit firm. Under QC section 10, A Firm's System of Quality Control, the firm has an obligation to establish and maintain a system of quality control to provide it with reasonable assurance that

  1. the firm and its personnel comply with professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements and

  2. reports issued by the firm are appropriate in the circumstances.

.04 Within the context of the firm's system of quality control, engagement teams have a responsibility to implement quality control procedures that are applicable to the audit engagement and provide the firm with relevant information to enable the functioning of that part of the firm's system of quality control relating to independence.

.05 Engagement teams are entitled to rely on the firm's system of quality control, unless the engagement partner determines that it is inappropriate to do so based on information provided by the firm or other parties.

.06 The engagement partner may use the assistance of other members of the engagement team or other personnel within the firm in meeting the requirements of this section. The requirements imposed by this section on engagement partners do not relieve other members of the engagement team of any of their professional responsibilities.

Effective Date

.07 This section is effective for engagements conducted in accordance with GAAS for periods ending on or after December 15, 2012.

Objective

.08 The objective of the auditor is to implement quality control procedures at the engagement level that provide the auditor with reasonable assurance that

  1. the audit complies with professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements and

  2. the auditor's report issued is appropriate in the circumstances."

 
 
 
 
AU-C Section 220.10: Leadership Responsibilities for Quality on Audits
 
 

".10 The engagement partner should take responsibility for the overall quality on each audit engagement to which that partner is assigned. In fulfilling this responsibility, the engagement partner may delegate the performance of certain procedures to, and use the work of, other members of the engagement team and may rely upon the firm's system of quality control."

 
 
 
 
AU-C Section 220.11-13: Relevant Ethical Requirements
 
 

".11 Throughout the audit engagement, the engagement partner and other members of the engagement team should remain alert for evidence of noncompliance with relevant ethical requirements by members of the engagement team. (Ref: par. .A4)

.12 If matters come to the engagement partner's attention, through the firm's system of quality control or otherwise, that indicate that members of the engagement team have not complied with relevant ethical requirements, the engagement partner, in consultation with others in the firm as appropriate, should determine that appropriate action has been taken.

Independence

.13 The engagement partner should form a conclusion on compliance with independence requirements that apply to the audit engagement. In doing so, the engagement partner should

  • obtain relevant information from the firm and, when applicable, network firms to identify and evaluate circumstances and relationships that create threats to independence;

  • evaluate information on identified breaches, if any, of the firm's independence policies and procedures to determine whether they create a threat to independence for the audit engagement; and

  • take appropriate action to eliminate such threats or reduce them to an acceptable level by applying safeguards or, if considered appropriate, to withdraw from the audit engagement when withdrawal is possible under applicable law or regulation.The engagement partner should promptly report to the firm any inability to resolve the matter so that the firm may take appropriate action. (Ref: par. .A5–.A6)"

 
 
 
 
AU-C Section 220.14-15: Acceptance and Continuance of Client Relationships and Audit Engagements
 
 

".14 The engagement partner should be satisfied that appropriate procedures regarding the acceptance and continuance of client relationships and audit engagements have been followed and should determine that conclusions reached in this regard are appropriate. (Ref: par. .A7–.A8)

.15 If the engagement partner obtains information that would have caused the firm to decline the audit engagement had that information been available earlier, the engagement partner should communicate that information promptly to the firm so that the firm and the engagement partner can take the necessary action. (Ref: par. .A8)"

 
 
 
 
AU-C Section 220.16: Assignment of Engagement Teams
 
 

".16 The engagement partner should be satisfied that the engagement team and any auditor's external specialists, collectively, have the appropriate competence and capabilities to

  • perform the audit engagement in accordance with professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements and

  • enable an auditor's report that is appropriate in the circumstances to be issued. (Ref: par. .A9–.A11)"

 
 
 
 
AU-C Section 220.17: Engagement Partner Direction, Supervision, and Performance
 
 

".17 The engagement partner should take responsibility for the following:

  • The direction, supervision, and performance of the audit engagement in compliance with professional standards, applicable legal and regulatory requirements, and the firm's policies and procedures (Ref: par. .A12–.A14 and .A19)

  • The auditor's report being appropriate in the circumstances"

 
 
 
 
AU-C Section 220.18-19: Engagement Partner Review
 
 

".18 The engagement partner should take responsibility for reviews being performed in accordance with the firm's review policies and procedures. (Ref: par. .A15–.A16 and .A19)

.19 On or before the date of the auditor's report, the engagement partner should, through a review of the audit documentation and discussion with the engagement team, be satisfied that sufficient appropriate audit evidence has been obtained to support the conclusions reached and for the auditor's report to be issued. (Ref: par. .A17–.A19)"

 
 
 
 
AU-C Section 220.20: Engagement Consultation
 
 

".20 The engagement partner should

  • take responsibility for the engagement team undertaking appropriate consultation on difficult or contentious matters;

  • be satisfied that members of the engagement team have under-taken appropriate consultation during the course of the engagement, both within the engagement team and between the engagement team and others at the appropriate level within or outside the firm;

  • be satisfied that the nature and scope of such consultations are agreed with, and conclusions resulting from such consultations are understood by, the party consulted; and

  • determine that conclusions resulting from such consultations have been implemented. (Ref: par. .A20–.A22)"

 
 
 
 
AU-C Section 220.21-23: Engagement Quality Control Review
 
 

"Engagement Quality Control Review

.21 For those audit engagements, if any, for which the firm has determined that an engagement quality control review is required, the engagement partner should

  • determine that an engagement quality control reviewer has been appointed;

  • discuss significant findings or issues arising during the audit engagement, including those identified during the engagement quality control review, with the engagement quality control re-viewer; and

  • not release the auditor's report until the completion of the engagement quality control review. (Ref: par. .A23–.A25)

.22 The engagement quality control reviewer should perform an objective evaluation of the significant judgments made by the engagement team and the conclusions reached in formulating the auditor's report. This evaluation should involve

  • discussion of significant findings or issues with the engagement partner;

  • reading the financial statements and the proposed auditor's report;

  • review of selected audit documentation relating to the significant judgments the engagement team made and the related conclusions it reached; and

  • evaluation of the conclusions reached in formulating the auditor's report and consideration of whether the proposed auditor's report is appropriate. (Ref: par. .A26–.A31)

Differences of Opinion

.23 If differences of opinion arise within the engagement team; with those consulted; or, when applicable, between the engagement partner and the engagement quality control reviewer, the engagement team should follow the firm's policies and procedures for resolving differences of opinion."

 
 
 
 
AU-C Section 220.24: Monitoring Quality Control
 
 

".24 An effective system of quality control includes a monitoring process designed to provide the firm with reasonable assurance that its policies and procedures relating to the system of quality control are relevant, adequate, and operating effectively. The engagement partner should consider

  • the results of the firm's monitoring process as evidenced in the latest information circulated to the engagement partner by the firm and, if applicable, other network firms and

  • whether deficiencies noted in that information may affect the audit engagement. (Ref: par. .A32–.A34)"

 
 
 
 
AU-C Section 220.25-26: Documentation of Quality Control
 
 

".25 The auditor should include in the audit documentation the following: (Ref: par. .A35)

  • Issues identified with respect to compliance with relevant ethical requirements and how they were resolved

  • Conclusions on compliance with independence requirements that apply to the audit engagement and any relevant discussions with the firm that support these conclusions

  • Conclusions reached regarding the acceptance and continuance of client relationships and audit engagements

  • The nature and scope of, and conclusions resulting from, consultations undertaken during the course of the audit engagement (Ref:par. .A36)

.26 The engagement quality control reviewer should document, for the audit engagement reviewed

  • that the procedures required by the firm's policies on engagement quality control review have been performed;

  • the date that the engagement quality control review was completed; and

  • that the reviewer is not aware of any unresolved matters that would cause the reviewer to believe that the significant judgments that the engagement team made and the conclusions it reached were not appropriate"