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Engagement Quality Review

In: Business and Management

Engagement Quality Review

ENGAGEMENT QUALITY REVIEW

Introduction

Engagement quality review, also known as concurring partner review or second partner review, is not a new practice and was first mandated in 1977, but it has most recently been required by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 for each registered public accounting firm to "provide a concurring or second partner review and approval of [each] audit report (and other related information), and concurring approval in its issuance...." It has been further clarified in the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s Auditing Standard No. 7 (AS No. 7), that was approved by the SEC in January 2010. Early guidance on engagement quality reviews was vague, and the practice was not standardized from firm to firm. The practice involves a second partner to review the engagement and serves as an internal check for engagement quality for the audit firm. Varying degrees of partner qualifications, involvement, responsibilities, scope, and documentation requirements existed. The first section of this paper explores the evolution of this practice in the standards and the surrounding auditing profession climate leading to the new standard, AS No. 7, adopted in 2009 by the PCAOB. In the second section, various research findings are presented and discussed. Finally, we draw conclusions on the current need for engagement quality reviews in the auditing profession based on our research.

Evolution

Many firms instituted concurring partner reviews over a decade before it was mandated by the Security and Exchange Commission’s Practice Section in 1977; however, the nature and scope of the review varied considerably from firm to firm (Tucker & Matsumura, 1997). In 1977, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Securities Exchange...

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