Quality Control Standards, Including Assignment and Documentation of Firm Supervisory Responsibilities

(Updated Dec. 5, 2018)


Explore whether there is a need for changes to PCAOB quality control standards in order to enhance audit quality. Changes being explored include prompting firms to improve their quality control systems and to more proactively identify and address emerging risks and deficiencies. The project also will consider impacts of potential standard-setting approaches on large and small domestic and international firms.


PCAOB quality control standards require firms to design and implement a quality control system that provides reasonable assurance that the firm’s personnel comply with applicable professional standards and the firm's standards of quality. Engagement deficiencies identified in PCAOB inspections suggest that improvements may be needed in firms' quality control systems. Staff considerations include, among other things, observations from PCAOB oversight activities, relevant research, input from the SAG and other outreach, and activities of international audit regulators, as well as PCAOB initiatives related to root cause analysis and audit quality indicators. The staff also is monitoring developments related to the IAASB project on quality control.


The staff has presented its research findings to the Board and is developing recommendations for next steps for Board consideration.