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Practice Assurance compliance review

Helpsheets and support

Published: 17 Jun 2020 Updated: 31 Dec 2020 Update History

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Technical helpsheet and checklist designed to help firms to carry out a compliance review, ensuring a quality output with effective risk management.


There is no requirement under the Practice Assurance Regulations or Standards to carry out a compliance review but firms often find it useful to do so. Ever changing laws and regulations make keeping up to date difficult and this helpsheet is designed to assist firms to ensure a quality output with effective risk management.

ICAEW’s Practice Assurance scheme requires our members and their firms to comply with the four Practice Assurance Standards. You can find more guidance on the Standards on the Practice Assurance webpage.

This helpsheet includes a checklist which aims to provide you with the basis for a systematic and critical review of your firm’s procedures and whether you run it in accordance with the Practice Assurance Standards. We’ve incorporated some areas where Quality Assurance Department (QAD) have often found issues on visits.

The checklist asks you to answer yes or no or not applicable. If you answer a question no, you should research the issue with a view to confirming whether or not any change is needed.

You should consider the relevance of the checklist to all accounting service providers under your control, not just your main practice.

There is more information and helpsheets available on the ICAEW website. Or you might like to look at the resources available from the ICAEW Library and Information Service.

Reserved areas of practice

Some firms are registered or licenced in particular areas of work which can only be done by firms that have the appropriate licence. We have not covered these areas in this checklist because they have their own equivalent checklists. If you’ve found this checklist but are looking for the checklist that applies to a reserved area, here are the links.



Designated Professional Body (DPB)



If in doubt seek advice

ICAEW members, affiliates, ICAEW students and staff in eligible firms with member firm access can discuss their specific situation with the Technical Advisory Service on +44 (0)1908 248 250 or via webchat.

Terms and conditions

© ICAEW 2023  All rights reserved.

ICAEW cannot accept responsibility for any person acting or refraining to act as a result of any material contained in this helpsheet. This helpsheet is designed to alert members to an important issue of general application. It is not intended to be a definitive statement covering all aspects but is a brief comment on a specific point.

ICAEW members have permission to use and reproduce this helpsheet on the following conditions:

  • This permission is strictly limited to ICAEW members only who are using the helpsheet for guidance only.
  • The helpsheet is to be reproduced for personal, non-commercial use only and is not for re-distribution.

For further details members are invited to telephone the Technical Advisory Service T +44 (0)1908 248250. The Technical Advisory Service comprises the technical enquiries, ethics advice, anti-money laundering and fraud helplines. For further details visit icaew.com/tas.

Changelog Anchor
  • Update History
    17 Jun 2020 (12: 00 AM BST)
    First published
    31 Dec 2020 (11: 15 AM GMT)
    Changelog created, helpsheet converted to new template
    31 Dec 2020 (11: 17 AM GMT)
    Minor edits relating to Brexit / updated regulations. Links updated.
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