INTOSAI Development Initiative

Supporting effective, accountable and inclusive Supreme Audit Institutions

IDI's System of Audit Quality Management (SoAQM)

The revised ISSAI 140, set to raise the bar in managing quality, will impact SAIs' existing systems. There is a need to support SAIs in transitioning from the old concepts of quality control/assurance into a systemic, dynamic, scalable and risk-based quality management. Through its commitment to helping SAIs to ensure audit quality, IDI offers blended support to SAIs in establishing SoAQM consistent with the organisational requirements of the revised ISSAI 140.

What is an SoAQM?

An SoAQM is a system which the SAI designs, implements and operates at the organisational level. It supports the achievement of objectives and enables the SAI and its personnel to conduct high quality audits, fulfil their responsibilities in accordance with professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements, and contribute value. The components of the SoAQM include: (1) Quality risk management process; (2) Governance and leadership; (3) Relevant ethical requirements; (4) Acceptance, initiation and continuance; (5) Performing audits (6) SAI resources; (7) Information and communication; and (8) Monitoring and remediation process.

Why is there a need for SoAQM?

Prior to the introduction of SoAQM, SAI has been operating the quality control system which may have been established through different policies and procedures for each element of the system. These may have remained static after they been developed, and some of these may not totally fit with the needs and structure of the SAI. To address the peculiarities among SAIs, the SoAQM focuses on key processes in quality management, rather than on defining what should be on specific components of the system. These processes include quality risk management, monitoring and remediation, and evaluation which provide scalable solutions to SAIs. Setting up the SoAQM does not end after development of the initial policies and procedures identified during the SAI’s needs analysis - supplemental policies and procedures, or enhancement of the existing ones, may be determined throughout the operation of the system.

How can IDI support SAIs?

The very first step taken by IDI to support SAIs in the implementation of the revised ISSAI 140 is the development of the SoAQM Playbook. The Playbook focuses on capacitating SAIs to conduct key processes in quality management, rather than on defining what should be on specific components of the system for the SAI. This will help SAIs determine fit-for-purpose policies and procedures to address the organisational requirements in the standards and the quality objectives that they will establish. IDI also provides pilot support that covers integrated professional education and blended online and onsite support to participating SAIs.

The SoAQM Playbook

The Playbook offers different options to SAIs in establishing fit-for-purpose System of Audit Quality Management depending on the specific SAI circumstances. Additional resources are provided within the respective sections that include technical implementation guidance (i.e., how to develop quality objectives, how to identify, assess and respond to quality risk, how to plan the monitoring, how to analyse monitoring findings, etc.) and the suggested tools/templates (i.e., quality risk management templates, monitoring tools, evaluation tools, etc.).To facilitate understanding of the concepts, SAI-specific examples are provided on each of the key quality management processes. The Playbook covers the SAI decisions involving: a) setting-up of the system; b) implementation of risk-based approach to quality management; c) establishment of monitoring and remediation process; d) evaluation of the system; e) managing quality at the audit practice level; and f) engagement quality review.


The SoAQM Global Pilot

The objective of the pilot is to support participating SAIs in setting up SoAQM. It includes integrated professional education that will capacitate SAIs in different aspects of quality management. In the pilot initiative, IDI envisions that participating SAIs will have a fit-for-purpose SoAQM that promotes continuous improvement in the long run through its embedded self-correcting mechanism.

Participating SAIs will be developing policies on SoAQM after analysing their current status, which will build foundation for the initial setup of the system. IDI will be providing both online coaching and onsite visits throughout the process. All the pilot activities are managed within IDI’s Learning Management System (LMS).

Since the pilot requires time and resources from the SAIs, IDI assessed the readiness of those SAIs who expressed interest in participating in the global SoAQM pilot

Selected SAIs are requested to nominate team with multi-disciplinary team members with collective experiences and knowledge in auditing standards, different audit practices, audit methodology, quality assurance, strategic planning, and research and policy development. The pilot will address SAI needs at the systemic level, so the team needs to be headed by a team leader coming from senior management.

The first round of global pilot involved 12 SAIs from the English-speaking regions (i.e., EUROSAI, CAROSAI, ASOSAI and AFROSAI-E). In addition, the IDI-ADB project on Sustainable Audit Practices includes envelopes where interested SAIs have the opportunity to establish SoAQM.


During the launch of the global pilot, IDI also received applications from the PASAI region. To maximise the benefits that can be derived from the IDI and PASAI secretariat coordination, and with the aim to have a customised support for the region, IDI and the PASAI secretariat decided to have a separate SoAQM initiative for the region. The pilot is participated by six SAIs who have attended the in-person SoAQM professional education workshop in Nadi, Fiji. This follows similar approach in the global pilot where participating SAIs will proceed with the needs analysis to map existing system, policies and procedures to the SoAQM requirements, which will become the basis of the policy development and initial set-up actions.

SoAQM: Integrated Professional Education

The professional education combines different synchronous and asynchronous learning activities covering key audit quality management processes. The exercises and case studies are designed to provide opportunity to the SAI teams to establish quality objectives, identify and assess quality risks, respond to the risks, conduct monitoring and remediation, evaluate the system, and perform some aspects of engagement quality reviews. The contents reflect the conditions, key issues and challenges in the public sector setting to help in the simulation of actual implementation of quality management processes.

The six session-course can be delivered online or face to face, both with blended delivery approach. The synchronous activities range from more than 20 hours to more than 30 hours in education depending on the delivery mode. In addition, participants are expected to spend around 15 hours to complete the asynchronous activities. All the sessions including the 15 exercises and case studies were designed based on the IDI's learning methodologies.

SoAQM Initiative Milestones

June to September 2022

Project Proposal: Revision of ISSAI 140

ISSAI 140 was introduced in 2010 by INTOSAI as 'Quality control for SAIs,' drawing upon key principles from ISQC1 for SAIs. The need for an update to this standard was recognized in the 2017-2019 Strategic Development Plan (SDP), a part of Project 2.4 focusing on enhancing guidance on SAI organizational issues, approved during INCOSAI in December 2016. This need was reaffirmed in the 2020-2022 SDP, approved by the Governing Board in September 2019, emphasizing the importance of clear, consistent, and sufficient standards for SAI quality management systems, accommodating various organizational models and ensuring uniform terminology usage.

In December 2020, the IAASB issued new quality management standards (ISQM 1 and ISQM 2), replacing ISQC 1, and revised ISA 220 on the quality management of audits of financial statements. These standards came into effect on December 15, 2022, with the revised ISA 220 applicable to audits of financial statements for periods beginning on or after the same date. These changes underscored the auditor's aim to manage quality control and related procedures in a dynamic, risk-based manner to attain the required level of quality, rather than adhering to a static set of procedures.

Given these updates and revisions, it is imperative to revise the associated content of the IFPP, particularly ISSAI 140, promptly.


June to September 2022

June to September 2022

Drafting of IDI's SoAQM Playbook

The first draft of the Playbook was developed with reference to various resources related to the new audit quality management, including the ISQM standards and implementation guide, best SAI practices in audit quality management, and existing IDI resources (e.g., QAR Handbook). The aim is to assist SAIs with different contexts to establish fit-for-purpose SoAQM. The Playbook contains technical guidance and toolkits surrounding the key quality management processes.

September 2022

Consultation and Development Meeting

The IDI held a consultation and development meeting in Oslo, Norway with representatives from the ISSAI 140 project team, experts from the field of audit quality, and IDI managers. The meeting was designed to:

  • agree on a common understanding of what transition to updated ISSAI 140 means for SAIs;

  • discuss the requirements of updated ISSAI 140 and share insights into the enablers and challenges of compliance with updated ISSAI 140;

  • obtain inputs and clarifications on the scope, structure and conceptual framework of the draft Playbook; and

  • agree on coordination mechanisms between ISSAI 140 project team and IDI team working on the playbook.

September 2022

December 2022

Enhancement of the Draft SoAQM Playbook

The first enhancement of the draft Playbook was made based on the feedback and inputs during the consultation meeting.

December 2022 to February 2023

Launch of the SoAQM Global Pilot

The IDI called for expression of interest from SAIs in the English-speaking regions. Open house sessions were held online to provide overview about the updates on ISSAI 140, and to discuss the requirements in the global pilot.

Due to the specific needs to successfully complete the pilot, the IDI assessed the readiness of all the SAI applications. The 12 SAIs accepted for the global pilot include: 1) SAI Albania, 2)SAI Azerbaijan, 3) SAI Bosnia & Herzegovina, 4) SAI Cayman Islands, 5) SAI Cyprus, 6) SAI Eritrea, 7) SAI Guyana, 8) SAI Jamaica, 9) SAI Maldives, 10) SAI Pakistan, 11) SAI Saint Lucia, and 12) SAI Tanzania.

December 2022 to February 2023

June 2023

SoAQM Global Pilot: Leadership Forum

An online leadership forum was held to bring together participating SAIs’ leaderships in the global pilot and key stakeholders for sharing experience, latest updates and ideas for setting up the System of Audit Quality Management. Among the highlights of the conversation was the implication of the SoAQM on the roles and responsibilities of the leadership.

October 2023

SoAQM Global Pilot: Online Professional Education

The IDI facilitated a one-week online SoAQM professional education to SAI teams in the global pilot. The education sessions covered key concepts in the new approach to quality management that capacited the teams in conducting in-depth needs analysis to map their SAIs' systems and processes to the organisational requirements of ISSAI 140. The results of the needs analysis will serve as the basis in developing SoAQM policy and initial set-up actions.

October 2023

November 2023

Endorsement of the Revised ISSAI 140

After review and deliberation of the changes in the exposure version, the revised ISSAI 140 was finally endorsed in November 2023 with effectivity date of 1 January 2025. This provides opprotunity to SAIs to transition their existing quality control systems to a more proactive and risk-based system in quality management.

December 2023 to January 2024

Enhancement of the draft SoAQM Playbook

The draft Playbook was further enhanced to reflect the updated organisational requirements in the endorsement version of the revised ISSAI 140.

December 2023 to January 2024

February to March 2024

SoAQM Global Pilot: Regional Support Workshops

The IDI facilitated two batches of regional support workshops in Tirana, Albania and Kingston, Jamaica to promote collaboration and knowledge-sharing among the participating SAIs based on the results of the needs analysis, and to support the initial actions for the establishment of fit-for-purpose SoAQM.

April 2024

Launch of the SoAQM PASAI Pilot

Through collaboration, IDI and PASAI launched the regional pilot to support SAIs who share common attributes, practices and challenges in audit quality management. A leadership forum was held in the first week of April 2024. Participating SAIs include: 1) SAI Cook Islands, 2) SAI Fiji, 3) SAI Marshall Islands, 4) SAI Samoa, 5) SAI Tuvalu, and 6) SAI Vanuatu.

April 2024

April 2024

SoAQM PASAI Pilot: In-person Professional Education Workshop

Nadi, Fiji - The IDI and PASAI Secretariat facilitated the in-person SoAQM professional education to participating SAIs.

May 2024

CAROSAI Leadership Conversation

In coordination with the CAROSAI Secretariat, the IDI will hold leadership conversation in the region targeting other SAIs who are not part of the global pilot. The aim is to strengthen the awareness about the revised ISSAI 140 which will have significant implication in the SAIs' systems.

May 2024

August 2024

Design of AQM Specialist Certification Meeting

The purpose of this work is to create a pool of IDI-certified audit quality management specialists in the INTOSAI community, for supporting SAIs in setting up and implementing systems of audit quality management as per the revised ISSAI 140; and to pilot shared service arrangements with the help of this pool.

We are organising a one-week meeting of resource persons from across INTOSAI and key stakeholders to start the process of designing and developing a competency framework for audit quality management specialists. During the meeting, we will also deliberate on the design of the education contents, mode of delivery and assessment for this certificate.

September 2024

Target Completion of Global Pilot

September 2024

December 2024

Target Publication of SoAQM Playbook

November 2025

Target Completion of SoAQM PASAI Pilot

November 2025

For more information about the revised ISSAI 140 project, please check here.

Professional education100%
Needs analysis58%
Action plan & strategy33%
Policy development8%
Initial set-up actions1%

SoAQM Testimonials

SoAQM Gallery

SoAQM Videos

Two of the participating SAI teams shared their reflections about global pilot and the completed SoAQM professional education, as well as their plans or strategies to set-up the SoAQM:

How can the System of Audit Quality Management add value to the SAI? Let's listen to the key messages from the advocates of this new approach to audit quality management:

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