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Practice Matters

The Practice Review Department of the Institute falls under the Standards & Regulations Directorate. Its existence is enshrined in the Accountants Act No. 13 of 2008 (as amended) under Part IV, section 31 (1).  

Globally, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) to which ZiCA is a member body has Statement of Member Obligations (SMOs). The SMOs are used as a framework for the development of a strong and modern accountancy profession. They provide clear benchmarks for Professional Accountancy Organisations (PAOs) or members, in their efforts to adopt and implement international standards and best practice. They assist current and potential IFAC members to ensure the highest level of performance by professional accountants. Further, the SMOs form the basis of the Member Body Compliance Program. One of the key values of the Compliance Program is to establish an understanding and appreciation of differing regulatory frameworks, national achievements and stages developments of PAOs around the world.

In view of the foregoing, there is need to understand that a distinguishing mark of the accountancy profession is it acceptance of the responsibility to act in the public interest. In the recent past, this has seen the accounting profession acquire a reputation for integrity, objectivity and competence through its many years of services to clients, employers and the public at large. Maintenance and enhancement of this reputation and public confidence is the challenge of the 21st century accountancy profession.

Thus in the quest to achieve the aforementioned, the Institute has set out to develop and implement various initiatives that would assist in monitoring the quality of the professional work of its members. One such initiative is the Audit Quality Control Monitoring system or Practice Reviews for its members in practice. It is designed to provide mechanisms for assessing the existence and effectiveness of the quality control policies and procedures for assurance engagements carried out by the Institute’s members in public practice.

Therefore, the practice reviews envisages that members in practice will do the following:

Establish and maintain appropriate quality control policies and procedures and comply with them to ensure the quality of their professional work

Have independent Audit Quality Reviews of their auditing practices at least once every three (3) years, or such other term as recommended by IFAC.

Take remedial and corrective actions as recommended in the Practice Review Reports that are issued after the audit monitoring visits.

Conduct in-house reviews at least every three (3) years.


Audit Practice Review consists of a firm (quality control) review and a review of selected assurance engagements carried out by each firm’s attest (assurance) engagement partners or practitioners as the case maybe.



Quality in the performance of auditing engagements by the practitioners licenced by the institute is the main goal of conducting practice reviews. This is therefore achieved through the education and remedial actions. This goal serves the public interest and the same time, enhances the significance of ZICA membership.



After carrying out an audit practice review, the Practice Review Department prepares and submits audit practice review reports to the Practice Review Committee (PRC), a committee which reports to the Standards and Regulatory Board, for their consideration.



Practice reviewers are all chartered accountants who have substantial experience in practices of different sizes, gained from the time in public practice and their work as practice reviewers. We aim to match the background of the reviewer to the size of the firm. All reviewers are bound by strict rules of confidentiality and carry identity cards.



The Practice Review Committee (PRC) is responsible for all operational matters relating to the Practice Review visit process. There are at least seven (7) members, of whom all are members of the Institute and five (5) are non- practicing accountants. Institute members, like reviewers, are drawn from a wide range of firms. The committee:



The Institute expect the following:

Professional standards

Enhanced compliance with professional standards

Enhanced compliance with professional standards ( i.e. the International Standards on Auditing (ISAs), International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) and the Handbook of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.

Reasonable assurance

Reasonable Assurance

Reasonable assurance to users of financial statements that professional standards have been complied with in the performance of audit and other related services

Increased user confidence

Increased User Confidence

Increased user confidence in the reliability of audited financial statement

Continuous quality of professional practice

Continuous Quality Improvement of Professional Practice

Establish a mechanism of continuous quality improvement in professional practice and self-regulatory framework for policies and procedure.

Enhanced status and image

Enhanced Status and Image

Enhanced status and image of chartered accountants to the public through the assurance of the quality of audit services.

Competence and independence

Competence and Independence

Ensures auditors are competent and independent, and have put in place measures to ensure competence and independence is maintained

Audit process weakness identification

Audit Process Weakness Identification

Identify weaknesses in the audit process and provide technical assistance for professional development;

Benefits Of Practice Reviews

Once a firm or practitioner has undergone an audit monitoring review, they will accrue the following:

1. Complying with the law

Complying with the law i.e. Section 31 of Act No. 13 of 2008

3. Educational and Supportive Service

Being provided with educational and supportive service that will assist practitioners in maintaining and improving the quality of their work.

5. Downward Negotiation of Cost

Downward negotiating of the cost of professional indemnity covers since the risks will be reduced by the fact that the profession is subject to effective audit monitoring

7. Highest Standards of Profession

Demonstrate that the profession is committed to self-regulation and ensuring the highest standards of professional work.

2. Improvement of Public Perceptions

Public perception of the practitioners will improve in that it will not only be seen as one that promulgates high standards but one that also monitors and enforces those standards

4. Practitioner Indentification

Identifying and removing from practice those practitioners who do not adhere to professional standards.

6. Stronger Position of Profession

Putting the profession in a stronger position to influence the future direction of regulatory involvement in the activities of practitioners, particularly the function.