- The new APES 320 Quality Management for Firms that provide Non-Assurance Services replaces APES 320 Quality Control for Firms from 1 January 2023.
- The new standard relates to non-assurance services in practices.
- APESB has developed tools to help minimise the disruption as firms adapt to the changes.
The Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB) has released a new standard: APES 320 Quality Management for Firms that provide Non-Assurance Services. The new APES 320 is a specific quality management standard for all non-assurance services and replaces the previous APES 320 Quality Control for Firms.
Non-assurance services include accounting and bookkeeping, administration and valuation, but exclude auditing, review or other assurance.
Kristen Wydell FCA, general manager Professional Standards at Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), says the new standard is widely welcomed.
“The introduction of the new APES 320 focuses on non-assurance services and continues to provide a robust approach to quality management while recognising that the risks to the public interest associated with non-assurance services are significantly different to those of audit and assurance services,” she says.
Picture: Kristen Wydell FCA, general manager Professional Standards at Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.
What changes with the new APES 320?
The reissued APES 320 standard brings a new definition of Engagement Output to better represent outputs from non-assurance services.
It delivers comprehensive guidance material and a range of updated requirements, such as the maintenance of a System of Quality Management. This is to replace the existing requirement for a system of quality control.
To minimise disruption, relevant extant APES 320 requirements have been maintained so firms can continue to use most of the existing policies and procedures with some modifications.
To assist firms further, APESB has developed a table mapping the reissued APES 320 to the extant standard. This tool can be used to navigate the changes and make appropriate modifications to incorporate a System of Quality Management.
The change in scope applies only to non-assurance services.
There is still high-level alignment of APES 320's elements to the components of Auditing and Assurance Standards Board's ASQM 1 Quality Management for Firms that Perform Audits or Reviews of Financial Reports and Other Financial Information, or Other Assurance or Related Services Engagements which will apply to Australian assurance practices
A smooth transition is expected
Josephine Haste CA, manager, Member Tools and Resources at CA ANZ, says the transition to the new standard should be smooth for chartered accountants in practice.
“All relevant requirements from the extant standard have been retained and new requirements reflect changes in the profession such as the increased use of technology,” she says.
“New requirements reflect changes in the profession such as the increased use of technology,”
“We are confident that this will result in an easier and smoother transition process for members in practice.”
How APESB responded to feedback
APESB considered a range of stakeholder feedback following the exposure draft released in September last year, says APESB chair Nancy Milne OAM.
"APES 320 has been released as a specific quality management standard for non-assurance practices while maintaining consistency with the components of ASQM 1 to assist firms that have both non-assurance and assurance practices to implement both standards,” she says.
The reissued APES 320 will be effective from 1 January 2023, with early adoption permitted.
Changes to Quality Management Standards
Members need to be aware of changes in standards which bring a scalable risk-based approach to quality management.Learn more
Find out more about the new standard
You can access the new APES 320 standard on the APESB website.Read more