A lot has been accomplished since EY launched Sustainable Audit Quality (SAQ) in 2015 as a strategic program focused on improving audit quality. The changes introduced through SAQ have required significant investment and created a positive change for our people and the companies we audit. SAQ is our globally consistent approach to driving the highest level of quality of our work.
SAQ demonstrates our commitment to keeping audit quality as our primary focus. It is the single most important factor in our decision-making, and the key measure on which our professional reputation stands.
SAQ is making an impact, and we are continuously improving our audit quality results. Our mission is to be the highest-quality audit organization in the profession. We are proud of the progress that has been made and know that our efforts are ongoing.
The six components of the SAQ program:
- Tone at the top
- Strengthen people capabilities
- Audit technology and digital
- Enablement and quality support
Tone at the top
It is important to set the right tone from the top by establishing and maintaining a culture underpinned by high-quality, effective risk management and continuous improvement.
Such a culture fosters an environment of confidence, trust and pride which, in turn, enhances mutual accountability and develops high-performing teams.
This is the reason that “tone at the top” is the first component of SAQ and why we place great emphasis on culture, consultation and communication.
By “the top,” we do not just mean the Global Chairman and Chief Executive or the Global Vice Chair for Assurance. The messages conveyed by almost 4,000 audit partners across the globe are equally essential to maintaining a culture that is focused on quality.
A consistent tone from the top helps our people understand that shared values and commitment to quality are central to everything that we do at all levels of the organization.
It is critical that our stakeholders view EY as the leading audit organization in terms of a quality culture, and we are developing a number of initiatives to make this happen.