Grant Thornton launches qm.x ― a new cloud-enabled application for ISQM 1 compliance


New offering streamlines cumbersome quality-management processes and creates opportunities for customization


CHICAGO — Grant Thornton LLP has introduced qm.x, a cloud-enabled application that facilitates accounting firms’ efforts to implement new quality guidelines from the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB).


The new standard, which takes effect in December 2022, is known as ISQM 1: short for International Standard on Quality Management 1. The ISQM 1 standard is meant to ensure a system of quality management at organizations that conduct audits, review financial statements and provide other assurance services.


“Meeting the ISQM 1 standard can be best accomplished through an integrated and customized system for quality management,” says Chris Stephenson, the managing principal for Product Innovation at Grant Thornton. “Our qm.x application does this by following a simple adage: ‘To standardize quality, make it efficient ― build it in.’”


Firms can use qm.x’s unified interface to easily design and document quality-management processes, thereby creating a framework for quality. Further, they can configure the qm.x application for their evolving needs, while also enjoying customized efficiency and automation.


“With qm.x, firms can leapfrog the ad hoc systems of spreadsheets that many currently rely on,” says Sara Ashton, a managing director in the Audit Methodology and Standards practice at Grant Thornton. “Our new application uniquely captures the important relationships between quality objectives, quality risk and responses.”


In addition to using a highly configurable and scalable model, the qm.x application:

  • Utilizes relationships to connect quality objectives, risks and responses.
  • Allows users to add quality objectives, risks and responses as their systems-of-quality-management evolve.
  • Allows for custom reporting and visualizations of risk levels and relationships.
  • Offers interactive user dashboards.
  • Seamlessly integrates with Microsoft tools, including Power BI.
  • Provides strong, flexible data governance and access controls.
  • Gives users the ability to implement solution at low cost.
  • Facilitates the testing, monitoring and remediation of systems-of-quality-management.
  • Provides a continued development and enhancement roadmap.


Built by accountants for accountants — with quality in mind


Joseph Brown, Grant Thornton’s national managing partner of Market Innovation and Release Management, emphasizes that Grant Thornton initially purpose-built qm.x for its own use, and then made it available to the accounting industry more broadly — allowing other firms to benefit from its real-world experience and award-winning technology prowess.


“This is the only ISQM 1 application on the market built by accountants for accountants,” Brown says. “It’s unique, it’s powerful and it’s ready now to help firms prepare for the important changes ahead.”


Jeff Hughes, the national managing partner for Audit Quality and Risk at Grant Thornton, explains that quality is central to the design of qm.x: “It’s critical for the auditing and assurance profession to meet all relevant standards with the highest possible quality. This new application helps them do just that: qm.x combines potent technology with Grant Thornton’s focus on quality to help ensure efficient and effective compliance with ISQM 1.”


Grant Thornton expects to expand the qm.x application beyond the ISQM 1 standard — a move that could help users adhere to future quality frameworks coming from standard-setting bodies beyond the IAASB.


The qm.x application is a product of Grant Thornton’s digital platform known as alyx™. The alyx platform is a concierge-enabled system that pairs subject-matter specialists, such as certified public accountants, with technologists in areas that include intelligent automation, data extraction, data cleansing, analytics and blockchain.


To learn more about qm.x, visit


About Grant Thornton

“Grant Thornton” is the brand for two professional-services entities: Grant Thornton LLP, a licensed, certified public accounting (CPA) firm that provides audit and assurance services ― and Grant Thornton Advisors LLC (not a licensed CPA firm), which exclusively provides non-attest offerings, including tax and advisory services. With revenues of $2.4 billion for the fiscal year that ended July 31, 2023, and dozens of offices nationwide, Grant Thornton represents a community of more than 9,000 problem solvers, relationship builders, and industry specialists who know that how we serve matters as much as what we do.


Grant Thornton LLP, Grant Thornton Advisors LLC and their respective subsidiaries operate as an alternative practice structure (APS). The APS conforms with applicable laws, regulations and professional standards, including those from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.


Grant Thornton LLP and Grant Thornton Advisors LLC serve as the U.S. member firms of the Grant Thornton International Ltd (GTIL) network. GTIL and its member firms are not a worldwide partnership and all member firms are separate legal entities. Member firms deliver all services; GTIL does not provide services to clients.




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