Quality Assurance Manual (QAM)

Auteur : CPA Canada


The members of the Ordre des CPA du Québec who wish to use a Corporate Passport or the CPA Promo to pay for an annual subscription to this tool must order directly through the Ordre des CPA du Québec’s Website and not via the CPA Canada Website. Please note that an annual subscription grants a basic licence for 5 users.

The Quality Assurance Manual has been substantially rewritten and expanded to address the changes in the requirements of the Canadian Standard on Quality Control (CSQC 1) and Canadian Auditing Standard 220, which addresses quality control for an audit of financial statements.

Timely updates of this service keep you current with new requirements, best practices and cost-effective strategies for managing your firm’s quality control policies and procedures. 

January 2021 – Update #12

This update includes three new sample policies (all best practices) that cover topical subjects not previously addressed in this manual.

The following outlines the material updated in this edition of QAM.

Part A — Requirements and Solutions

  • Chapter 1: A Firm's System of Quality Control
    • This chapter has been updated to provide notice about the changes being made to the quality standards in Canada, which become effective December 2022. Also, see the new Chapter 17 (Overview of Revised Quality Management Standards) for a detailed overview of the new standards.
  • Chapter 2: Commitment to Quality Work
    • This chapter has been updated to add a new section (2.2 – Commitment to Professional Skepticism) to emphasize the importance of professional skepticism from the Firm's management team.
  • Chapter 6: Human Resources
    • This chapter has been updated to reflect the current environment relating to remote work arrangements. A new best practice procedure on remote work arrangements has been added.
  • Chapter 7: Engagement Performance
    • This chapter has been updated to include a new section (7.6 – Emerging Technologies) to reflect the increasing use of emerging technologies.
  • Chapter 16: Summary of Common Engagement File Deficiencies
    • This chapter has been updated to include additional common practice deficiencies, including a new section on emerging industries, a new area of focus for practice inspection.
  • Chapter 17: Overview of Revised Quality Management Standards
    • This new chapter outlines the new requirements of the CSQM 1 standard, which has two different effective dates depending on the nature of the engagements being performed. Systems of quality management for audits or reviews of financial statements or other assurance engagements are required to be designed and implemented by December 15, 2022. Systems of quality management for related services engagements are required to be designed and implemented by December 15, 2023. The evaluation of the system of quality management is required to be performed within one year following the effective date.

Part B — Sample Quality Assurance Manuals and Appendices

  • Part B manuals and appendices have been revised to include three new policies on the use of social media, sexual harassment, and awareness of fraud or material non-compliance with laws and regulations.
  • Appendix C (Confidentiality and Non-Solicitation Agreement). This appendix has been revised to identify the non-solicitation paragraph as being optional.
  • Appendix I (Hiring an External Person to Perform an Engagement Quality Control Review (EQCR)). The letter has been updated. 

Word Files for Customization

The Sample Quality Assurance Manuals have been updated to include a new remote work arrangements procedure in Section 6.

Notice to Quebec CPAs: Also consult the Quality Control Program

CPAs should note that the Quality Assurance Manual (QAM) is developed by CPA Canada and that some documents must be adapted to take into account the Quebec regulation.

CPAs interested by the questionnaires, checklists and letter templates presented in the QAM can purchase the Quality Control Program developed by the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec based on the Quality Assurance Manual published by CPA Canada (2012 edition). The program includes all the tools presented in the QAM adapted to the Quebec regulation.


The Quality Assurance Manual (QAM) is a comprehensive resource designed to help firms comply with Canadian quality control standards (CSQC 1 and CAS 220) and develop and document their own policy manuals and systems of control. QAM includes sample quality assurance manuals, commentary and guidance on quality control objectives and Word files for customizing the sample manuals and practice aids – letters, forms and worksheets.

QAM will help your firm:

  • Understand the requirements of CSQC 1 and CAS 220
  • Develop a customized Quality Assurance Manual for your firm 
  • Assign leadership roles 
  • Document your firm’s ongoing compliance with its quality control policies 
  • Organize, perform and prepare monitors’ reports for:
    • ongoing policy monitoring (OPM)
    • completed file monitoring (CFM) 
  • Continually improve your firm’s system of quality control


Designed to help firms comply with the specific requirements of the quality control standards and develop and document their own policy manuals and systems of quality control, the CPA Canada’s comprehensive Quality Assurance Manual (QAM) includes:

  • Sample Quality Assurance Manuals — Four sample manuals — Sole Practitioner with No Staff; Sole Practitioner with Staff; Small or Medium-Size Partnership; and Partnership with Audits of Listed Entities/Reporting Issuers — with sample policies and procedures, cross-references to the standards and highlighted optional ‘best practice’ policies (Part B).
  • Commentary and Guidance — 17 comprehensive chapters including commentary on each sample policy, the quality control objectives, risks and strategies, independence and ethics and the roles and responsibilities of the firm’s leaders (Part A).
  • Templates (Microsoft Word) — includes Word files of the sample manuals and supporting worksheets, report layouts, engagement letters and other practice aids that can help your firm design, implement and maintain a firm-specific system of quality control (Part C).

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • A Quality Management System for Firms
  • Commitment to Quality Work
  • Leadership and Culture
  • Relevant Ethical Requirements
  • Client Acceptance/Continuance
  • Human Resources
  • Engagement Performance
  • The Need to Consult
  • Engagement Quality Control Reviews
  • Differences of Opinion
  • Engagement Documentation
  • Monitoring 
  • Complaints and Allegations
  • Listed Entities/Reporting Issuers
  • Summary of Possible Compliance Documentation
  • Summary of Common Engagement File Deficiencies
  • Overview of Revised Quality Management Standards

Target Clientele

CPAs in public practice

Available in other language

Manuel d’assurance de la qualité

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