Continuing our series of blogs where we looked at the scalability of the ISQM(Ireland) 1, this week we look at the question: ‘What are the Main Elements Within a System of Quality Control (SoQM)?

Establishing the SoQM

ISQM 1.6 requires each audit firm to establish and maintain a system of quality control (SoQM) which includes policies and procedures addressing each of the following six processes:

  1. Governance and leadership;
  2. Relevant ethical requirements;
  3. Acceptance and continuance;
  4. Engagement performance;
  5. Resources; and
  6. Information and communication.

There are two other elements of the SoQM that we have covered in our other blogs –

  • The risk assessment and responses;
  • The monitoring/remediation stage which includes Root Cause Analysis as a key component.

Each audit firm must have written policies and procedures which ensure that its independence and objectivity cannot be jeopardised by the intervention of any partner or member of staff in the carrying out of an audit engagement.

As well as the above policies/procedures, each audit firm must also have:

  • Sound administrative and accounting procedures;
  • Internal quality control mechanisms;
  • Effective procedures for risk assessment; and
  • Effective control and safeguard arrangements for information processing

For more assistance please see our new ISQM TOOLKIT or if you prefer to chat through the different audit risks and potential appropriate responses presented by this new standard, please call or e-mail John McCarthy FCA or e-mail him at

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