Statement on Quality Control Standards No. 8, A Firm's System of Quality Control (Redrafted)
This SQCS is effective as of January 1, 2012. Early application is permitted.

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Statement on Quality Control Standards (SQCS) No. 8 supersedes SQCS No. 7. SQCS No. 8 does not change or expand SQCS No. 7 in any significant respect. SQCS No. 8 has been drafted in accordance with the ASB’s clarity drafting conventions, which include the following:

  • Establishing objectives for each of the standards
  • Including a definitions section, if relevant, in each standard
  • Separating requirements from application and other explanatory material
  • Numbering application and other explanatory material paragraphs using an A- prefix and presenting them in a section following the requirements section
  • Using formatting techniques, such as bulleted lists, to enhance readability
  • Including, where appropriate, special considerations relevant to smaller firms within the text of the standards

To reflect a more principles-based approach to standard setting, certain requirements that are duplicative of broader requirements in SQCS No. 7 have been moved to application and other explanatory material, consistent with ISQC No. 1. In the ASB’s view, this has not changed the overall effectiveness of the proposed SQCS.

Paragraph 46 of SQCS No. 8 contains a requirement that procedures established for dealing with differences of opinion should enable a member of the engagement team to document that member’s disagreement with the conclusions reached after appropriate consultation. This requirement was included in Statement of Auditing Standards No. 108, Planning and Supervision (AICPA, Professional Standards, vol. 1, AU sec. 311, paragraph .32). The ASB believes that this requirement is more appropriately placed at the firm level for all engagements.

Scope of This Statement on Quality Control Standards

1. This Statement on Quality Control Standards (SQCS) addresses a CPA firm’s responsibilities for its system of quality control for its accounting and auditing practice. This statement is to be read in conjunction with the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct and other relevant ethical requirements.

2. This SQCS, although applicable to audit and attestation engagements performed by CPA firms in accordance with Government Auditing Standards, does not apply to government audit organizations. Instead, those government audit organizations are subject to the quality control and assurance requirements of Government Auditing Standards, which are similar to those of this SQCS.

3. Other professional standards set out additional requirements and guidance on the responsibilities of firm personnel regarding quality control procedures for specific types of engagements. The clarified Statement on Auditing Standards Quality Control for an Engagement Conducted in Accordance With Generally Accepted Auditing Standards, for example, addresses quality control procedures for engagements conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards.

4. A system of quality control consists of policies designed to achieve the objective set out in paragraph 12 and the procedures necessary to implement and monitor compliance with those policies.


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American Institute of CPAs

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is the world’s largest member association representing the CPA profession, with more than 418,000 members in 143 countries, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting.

The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, nonprofit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination, and offers specialized credentials for qualified professionals who concentrate on personal financial planning; forensic accounting; business valuation; and information management and technology assurance. With The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), it offers the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation, which sets the global benchmark for quality and recognition in management accounting.

The AICPA and CIMA also make up the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association), which represents public and management accounting globally, advocating on behalf the public interest and advancing the quality, competency and employability of CPAs, CGMAs and other accounting and finance professionals worldwide.

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