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Practice review

Practice review is a quality assurance programme that covers the provision of audit and other related assurance services in Hong Kong by firms, corporate practices and individual practising certificate holders (practice units). The Institute originally introduced practice review in 1992 under the authority and powers granted by the Professional Accountants Ordinance.

 

The current practice review programme was introduced in 2006. The review process has been revised to focus on risk – in the selection of practice units and specific audit engagements for review. The quality assurance department uses its resources to ensure due attention is paid to practice units that are engaged in auditing higher profile or public interest, predominantly listed entities.

 

The review programme forms an important element in the overall scheme of audit regulation in Hong Kong. The results of the practice reviews carried out on practice units by the quality assurance department are reported to the practice review committee which is the committee responsible for exercising the powers given to the Institute by the Professional Accountants Ordinance.

 

Practice review can also encourage and assist practice units to improve adherence to professional standards and raise the quality of auditing. The results from the practice review programme provide valuable content to the Institute’s programmes of learning and development for members. Practice review can be constructive and helpful to members while still effectively fulfilling an important regulatory role.

 

Issues and concerns identified through the practice review programme often enable the Institute to respond to the needs of its members. Some of the common concerns that surface during practice reviews are summarized in the quality assurance department report and are used as an information source for seminars and forums where representatives of practice units can discuss shared issues and potential solutions.

 

To keep members as up to date as possible, the quality assurance department also reports key issues facing practice units on the web site as frequently asked questions. Department staff also post responses to the questions raised in order to give practice units some direction or suggestions on how the matter may be addressed. The answers provided will not be definitive interpretations of standards or give a solution that will be relevant for every practice unit as circumstances differ from case to case and practice units must apply professional judgment in dealing with audit issues.

 

The current review process is based around assessing practice units’ systems and procedures of quality control as required by Hong Kong Standard on Quality Control 1.