Caseware is introducing a cloud-based solution for firms to document, operate and monitor their systems of quality management – all in one solution: Caseware SQM, a powerful app offered on the Caseware Cloud platform.
The solution will allow firms to attend to all parts of their system of quality management:
- Set appropriate roles and permissions – differentiate between those users that take ultimately responsibility for the system, those that take operational responsibility for the system and other staff.
- Pre-populated content libraries – mandatory objectives and specified responses from ASQM 1, along with other example and best practice objectives, risks and policy and procedure responses, are all included in pre-populated libraries. These can all be tailored at the firm level to suit unique circumstances and the types of services provided
- Many-to-many linkages – objectives, risks, policy, and procedures responses are linked through many-to-many relationships, thereby enabling firms to optimally use responses that address more than one quality risk or link risks which affect more than one quality objective and so forth.
- Link tasks to policy and procedure responses – design tasks as instructions to users for the completion of required actions and recording of information relevant to the operation of the system (e.g. record approval of the receipt of a gift in the firm’s register of gifts, hospitality and other inducements)
- Risk assessment matrix – SQM provides a firm-specific quality risk assessment matrix that automates the identification of quality risks for which responses are required.
How does SQM work?
SQM incorporates a number of modules that are made available to the relevant users using permissions:
- Design – where the objectives, risks and responses will be selected, edited and finalised
- Operate – where the users will see the objectives, risks and policies and procedures that are in operation. It is also in this module where users will record information on forms as part of them complying with and executing procedure responses.
- Operate overview – where those responsible for the operation of the system of quality management can monitor the operation of activities from a high level, using dashboards. The users with ultimate responsibility for the system of quality management will also have access to these dashboards.
- Monitor – where the monitoring and remediation activities will be performed and most likely only by a limited number of users
- Evaluate – where the user(s) with ultimate responsibility for the system of quality management can complete their evaluation of the system and conclude.
Once the firm’s system has been designed, a user with ultimate responsibility for the system of quality management will be able to review dashboards of the information in the design module, and publish the information to the Operate module – this is where most of the day-to-day activities will be performed. The active objectives, risks and policy and procedure responses will be visible to users in this module. In addition, each user will have a dashboard where they can review tasks allocated to themselves and from where they will initiate new instances of forms to record the performance of procedures.
The introduction of ASQM 1 has introduced a subtle change in name from quality control to quality management. This subtle change will, however, have a significant impact on the firm’s approach to achieving quality in the engagements performed by professional accounting firms.
Investing in the SQM product, will assist the firm in complying with the minimum requirements of ASQM 1 while also engaging the value of technology as an essential element of pro-actively managing quality in the firm.
Interested in understanding more about the ASQM 1 standard and the implications that it will have on the quality management system at your firm? Use the button below to download our full whitepaper on preparing your firm for ASQM 1: