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ISQM1 and Root Cause Analysis 3 - Managing RCA in Audit & Accountancy

2 May 2019

The proposed International Standard on Quality Management (ISQM1) paper sets out a structure of wide-ranging proposals that, when implemented, will encourage substantial changes in quality management related to audits, reviews of financial statements and other assurance or related engagements. 
 
At the core of ISQM1-ED is a genuinely proactive, risk-based approach to quality management.  One that proposes high quality Root Cause Analysis (RCA) as the preferred method for firms to ensure that audit deficiencies are fully understood, addressed and explained.  As global RCA specialists within audit and accountancy, we have prepared four short articles expanding upon the objectives and benefits of RCA, as laid out within the proposed ISQM1 framework.
 

ISQM1 and Root Cause Analysis 2 - RCA Triggers in Audit & Assurance

3 April 2019

In this short article, the 2nd of 4 on Root Cause Analysis (RCA), we will be covering 3 topics; a reminder of where RCA came from, a clarification of what firms should use RCA for, and some explanation of when firms should, and shouldn’t, use the method

In recent years RCA has become valuable to a number of complex sectors where the failings and deficiencies could be seen as very different, but no less serious.  Global firms and agencies in Healthcare, Finance and IT have all adopted the core problem solving principles of RCA; a shared language, a transferable structure, visual cause and effect analysis, evidence-based decisions and streamlined reporting.
 

Curiosity Killed No Cats...

3 April 2019

Counterintuitive sayings and phrases are all around us, and most of us use them every day without thinking.  But sometimes it really does pay to take a step back, unpack a certain phrase and consider the implications.
 
One such saying, and one that many of us use, parents in particular, is ‘curiosity killed the cat’. We all ‘mean well’ when we say it, after all, poking your nose where it is not wanted, or worse still, somewhere dangerous is not usually a great life choice.  But it’s the misjudgement that’s at fault, not curiosity itself. 

Curiosity inspires us. Curiosity motivates us. Curiosity refreshes, educates and energises us... 

ISQM1 and Root Cause Analysis 1 - Revealing the 'Unknown Unknowns' in Audit & Assurance

27 March 2019

The proposed International Standard on Quality Management (ISQM1) paper sets out a structure of wide-ranging proposals that, when implemented, will encourage substantial changes in quality management related to audits, reviews of financial statements and other assurance or related engagements.  
 
At the core of ISQM1 is a genuinely proactive, risk-based approach to quality management.  One that proposes high quality Root Cause Analysis (RCA) as the preferred method for firms to ensure that audit deficiencies are fully understood, addressed and explained.  As global RCA specialists within audit and accountancy, we have prepared four short articles expanding upon the objectives and benefits of RCA, as laid out within the proposed ISQM1 framework. 


 

What Really Caused the Epidemic

19 March 2019

Ever since the dawn of the Enlightenment in the 17th Century, Cause and Effect has been a key method used by scholars and scientists to solve complex problems and make informed decisions.  One of the most difficult aspects of understanding Cause and Effect is to be able to master which information you need to include and what you can ignore.  As essayist, and former risk analyst Nassim Taleb stated It’s easy to think intelligence is about noticing when things are relevant (detecting patterns). In a complex world, intelligence consists in ignoring things that are irrelevant (avoiding false patterns)’.

Root Cause Analysis and the HiPPO

12 March 2019

Perhaps you’re already asking yourself what kind of odd fairy tale might this be?  Or at the very least, what on earth has structured problem solving and Root Cause Analysis got to do with a 1,500kg herbivorous, semiaquatic African mammal?
 
The obvious answer might be nothing.  But Root Cause Analysis does have plenty to do with managing the influence of the Highest Paid Person in the Office (or Highest Paid Person’s Opinion), better known as The HiPPO Effect.