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 www.grantthornton.com/services/audit-services/qm-x.
About Grant Thornton LLP
Grant Thornton LLP (Grant Thornton) is one of America’s largest audit, tax and advisory firms — and the U.S. member firm of the Grant Thornton International Ltd global network. We go beyond the expected to make business more personal and build trust into every result. With revenues of $1.97 billion and 51 offices nationwide, Grant Thornton is a community of more than 9,000 problem solvers who value relationships and are ready to help public and private organizations of all sizes and industries create more confident futures. Because, for us, how we serve matters as much as what we do.
“Grant Thornton” refers to Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd (GTIL). GTIL and the member firms are not a worldwide partnership. Services are delivered by the member firms. GTIL and its member firms are not agents of, and do not obligate, one another and are not liable for one another’s acts or omissions.