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ISSAI Executive Summaries

Executive Summary:

ISSAI 40 – Quality Control for SAIs


The document assists SAIs to establish and maintain a system of quality control which is appropriate to their mandate and circumstances.

ISSAI Category:

Level 2: Prerequisites for the Functioning of Supreme Audit Institutions

Target Group:

Head and Audit Directors of SAIs, External Governmental Auditors, Internal Auditors

  • ISSAI 40 is based on the key principles in the "International Standards on Quality Control, ISQC-1" of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and was adapted as necessary to apply to SAIs. It establishes an overall framework for quality control and outlines quality control measures that are relevant to achieving high quality in the public sector environment.
  • Complementary to this standard the EUROSAI Governing Board issued a practical guide "Achieving audit quality: Good Practices in Managing within SAIs" (approved by the EUROSAI Governing Board in November 2010).
Scope - Content:

A) The structure of ISSAI 40 is presented in the same way for each element identified in ISQC-1 as follows:

  • The key principle in ISQC-1;
  • The key principle adapted for SAIs;
  • Application Guidance for SAIs.

The framework for an SAI's system of quality control consists of the following:

  1. Leadership responsibilities for quality within the SAI
  2. Relevant ethical requirements
  3. Acceptance and continuance of client relationships and specific engagements
  4. Human resources
  5. Engagement performance and
  6. Monitoring

B) The document "Achieving audit quality: Good practice in the SAI's" relates to the principles set out in ISSAI 40 and covers 14 separate topics based on submissions received from EUROSAI members and selected by the working group as likely to make a useful contribution to challenges currently facing SAI's. These good practices are complementary on the standards and are aimed at providing practical proven ways of achieving quality.

Author - Committee:
  • IAASB of IFAC (relating ISQC-1)
  • EUROSAI Working Group (established in 2008 including experts from various SAI's as well as from the European Court of Audit, chaired by Hungary)
  • ISSAI 40 draws on the ISQC-1 and was developed by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) and published by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) in December 2008. It is used with the permission of IFAC.
  • "Achieving Audit Quality" was approved by EUROSAI Governing Board, XXXVIth Meeting, Madrid, November 2010

Related Documents - Executive Summaries:
Related Documents - ISSAI Full Versions:

ISSAI 1000-2999 (Financial Audit Guidelines)

ISSAI 3000-3999 (Performance Audit Guidelines)

ISSAI 4000-4999 (Compliance Audit Guidelines)

Related Documents - Others:

International Standards on Quality Control (ISQC–1)

Implementation guidance and tools

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