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    Review Partners and Engagement Partners: The Interaction...
    research summary posted February 17, 2015 by Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips, tagged 11.0 Audit Quality and Quality Control, 11.02 Engagement Quality Review – Processes and Effectiveness 
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    Title:
    Review Partners and Engagement Partners: The Interaction Process in Engagement Quality Review
    Practical Implications:

    The most efficient and effective resolution of issues arising from engagement quality reviews is direct interaction between the engagement partner and the engagement quality review partner. When both parties go into the interaction with an open mind it can lead to new and innovative solutions. The involvement of other individuals in the firm does not facilitate or expedite the process of resolution. An important takeaway from the results of this questionnaire was that while the respondents indicated that almost half of the examples involved issues that had arisen in previous years, only a small minority of those same issues were considered to have potential ramifications for future years. This lack of symmetry suggests that the temporal connection of the identified issues was underestimated and suggests that this temporal connection is an important factor that should be explicitly considered in engagement quality reviews.

    For more information on this study, please contact please contact Craig Emby.

    Citation:

    Emby, C. and M. Favere-Marchesi. 2010. Review partners and engagement partners: The interaction process in engagement quality review. Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory 29 (2): 215-232.

    Keywords:
    Engagement quality review, Audit Quality
    Purpose of the Study:

    The Engagement Quality Review process is extremely important in ensuring audit quality. Engagement quality review is required by the auditing standards in Canada and the United States. It involves interaction between the engagement quality review partner and the audit engagement partner. This study examined the interaction in this process from the perspective of the engagement quality review partner. The questionnaire asked the participating partners to recall a recent engagement quality review that they had undertaken and to respond to the questions and statements based on their experiences in that engagement quality review. The results provide a comprehensive picture of a typical engagement quality review; the issues involved, the process, and the outcomes that may result. In general, the partners showed a high level of agreement, and insight into the process, and their role in that process. Taken together, the results describe a professional, collegial, non-adversarial process, primarily focused on the objective of resolving difficult and complex client accounting issues.

    Design/Method/ Approach:

    A questionnaire, divided into three parts – issue, process, and outcome – was completed by audit partners in large international public accounting firms, experienced in performing engagement quality reviews. The responses were collected during the period 2008-2009. 

    Findings:

    Issue(s)

    • The majority of reviewing partners identified the complexity of the accounting issue(s) as the most salient aspect of the engagement quality review.
    • A much smaller number of reviewing partners identified auditing issues as the most salient aspect of the engagement quality review.

    Process

    • In the vast majority of instances, the resolution of the issue(s), was accomplished by direct interaction between the engagement quality review partner and the engagement partner, with no other parties involved
    • The resolution of auditing issues was much less frequently mentioned as the most important part of the process.

    Outcome(s)

    • In all instances the issue(s) was/were satisfactorily resolved and an unqualified audit report was issued.
    • In a plurality of instances, the resolution was neither the engagement partner’s initial position, nor the review partner’s initial position, nor a compromise between the two, but agreement on a new solution generated by the discussion between the engagement partner and the review partner.
    Category:
    Audit Quality & Quality Control
    Sub-category:
    Engagement Quality Review – Processes & Effectiveness