Income Tax Audit Manual

Domestic Compliance Programs Branch (DCPB)


This chapter was last updated June 2016.

Chapter 8.0 Business Intelligence and Quality Assurance

Table of Contents

The Domestic Compliance Programs Branch has established the Business Intelligence and Quality Assurance (BIQA) structure to focus on risk to improve audit selection and to improve the quality of audits. BIQA is a regional team, with workload development and audit quality review done at the regional level.

The goals of BIQA are to:

  • strengthen audit and internal controls;
  • segregate duties;
  • enhance risk assessment so issues of greatest risk are identified, selected, and audited;
  • perform risk assessment and audit activities with professional standards;
  • enhance oversight of audit activities to facilitate conformity and consistency with legislation and national policies and procedures;
  • rationalize and document accurately and adequately, all decisions from workload selection to final audit reassessment; and
  • identify in a timely manner, training needs, emerging compliance issues, and discrepancies in audit procedures and policies.

8.1.0 Business Intelligence – Under development

For information about Business Intelligence, go to:

  • Business Intelligence Division;
  • Business Intelligence and Quality Assurance; and
  • memorandum September 16, 2013, The Regional Business Intelligence (Income Tax) Function and its impact on TSO audit activities.

8.2.0 For future use

8.3.0 For future use

8.4.0 Audit Quality Review

8.4.1 Introduction

High quality audit files are necessary to effectively deliver CRA compliance programs.

Audits are selected by the regional Audit Quality Review (AQR) Program to ensure that they conform to the national AQR Standards.

8.4.2 Audit Quality Review Standards

The five elements of the national AQR Standards are:

  1. Planning;
  2. Conducting;
  3. Application of law, policy, and procedures;
  4. End products; and
  5. Professionalism.

To review the standards for each element, go to Audit Quality Review Standards – Small and Medium Business Enterprises.

8.4.3 Audit Quality Review process

A completed audit file may be randomly selected for AQR after the team leader approves and uploads the audit in WinALS. When an audit is selected, WinALS displays a message advising the team leader to hold all documentation, such as final letters and reassessment documents, until notified by the AQR team leader.

The AQR team will review the audit file and determine the appropriate action to be taken:

  • If the audit does not require changes as a result of the AQR review, the Audit team leader will be advised to process the adjustments and issue the final correspondence. The audit will be uploaded in WinALS by the AQR team leader and the normal procedures for the final processing of an audit file will be followed.
  • If changes required with the AQR Standards are identified, the Audit team leader and section manager will be advised, and the audit file will be returned. Once the changes required are addressed, the revised file will be uploaded by the audit team leader and returned to the AQR team, which will confirm that the changes required have been addressed. When all changes required have been addressed, the AQR team leader will advise the Audit team leader to process the adjustments and issue the final correspondence. For sample letters, go to Appendix:
    • A-11.1.1, Audit Quality Review proposal letter - With penalty;
    • A-11.1.2, Audit Quality Review proposal letter - No penalty; and
    • A-11.1.3 Audit Quality Review Proposal Letter with Repeated Offence Penalty.

A report will be sent to Audit for all files reviewed by AQR, regardless of whether changes required are encountered or not. This report will provide the rating assigned and detailed comments for the standards assessed. If a standard has been fully met (that is, rated as a 1), AQR officers will only provide comments if the measurement criterion does not, in and of itself, fully convey the feedback that is warranted. This will enable auditors to quickly identify positive feedback, best practices, or exemplary work noted during the AQR.

For more information, go to Quality Section and also view Business Intelligence and Quality Assurance.

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