AQI11 – Understanding Span of Control: Professional Staff (Ratio)

Assessing the ratio of audit professional staff to partners in an audit firm provides valuable insights into the capacity of partners to supervise junior team members and the level of support available for partners. Let’s explore the description, interpretation, and IRBA Code considerations regarding Span of Control: Professional Staff.

IRBA Code considerations 

Indicator – Span of Control: 

Professional Staff (Ratio) represents the ratio of audit professional staff headcount (including accounting, audit, and risk professionals) to partners in the audit firm.

Purpose of professional staff ratio

This ratio indicates the balance between partner responsibilities and available professional staff support

How to Interpret the AQI (Audit Quality Indicators)

Higher ratios suggest that partners have more responsibilities and potentially face increased time pressure due to managing a larger team. This may divert their attention from individual audit engagements. However, higher ratios can also indicate efficient management of professional staff or a well-resourced firm with skilled professionals requiring less supervision.

IRBA Code Considerations

Professional Competence and Due Care: Partners and professional staff are obligated to maintain professional knowledge and skill at the required level and act diligently in accordance with applicable standards. This principle underscores the importance of effective supervision and support within the audit firm.

Our audit templates have been updated to provide partners with appropriate information in engagement files so that they can focus their attention. It is imperative that engagement partners ensure engagement files created are on the latest versions:

  1. Audit International: 25.1
  2. Probe Audit Premium Plus: 2023.20.13

As audit professionals, it’s crucial to ensure effective resource allocation, maintain professional competence, and uphold the highest standards of diligence and professionalism.

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