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Membership of BDO enables our firms to deliver quality services at the highest level.

Risk management

The use of the BDO International Risk Management Manual is mandated throughout BDO. It provides guidance on the design and implementation of quality control systems to support our firms’ compliance with both domestic and international standards. Additionally, and in accordance with the requirements of the International Standard on Quality Control (ISQC-1), all BDO firms have their own internal systems of quality control.

New firm admissions

BDO seeks to admit new firms that share the BDO vision and cultural approach. Each prospective new firm is subject to a due diligence process, the outcome of which forms the basis for the decision of whether or not to admit that firm to BDO. These due diligence reviews are conducted by the Global Quality & Risk Management department, based in BDO’s Global Office in Brussels, or under their direction. The global CEO then makes a recommendation to the Global Board, based on the due diligence report, which ultimately decides on the admission of the firm to BDO.

During the due diligence process, prospective firms are evaluated against BDO’s membership criteria, which include:

  • The prospective firm’s reputation for quality and high ethical standards
  • The prospective firm’s compliance with domestic and international standards and requirements
  • The commitment and capability of the prospective firm to adopting our global policies, procedures, methodologies and tools
  • The maintenance of a system of quality control by the prospective firm that meets or exceeds the International Standard on Quality Control (ISQC-1).

All BDO firms are subject to the obligations set out in the BDO Regulations and are required to abide by our global policies, procedures, methodologies and tools.

Quality Monitoring Programme

The Quality Monitoring Programme is designed to monitor firms’ adherence and compliance with professional standards, as well as incremental BDO standards and requirements, including policies, procedures, methodologies and tools.

Our Quality Monitoring Programme consists of:

  • An Internal Inspection Programme for firms with more than five audit partners
  • Other Monitoring Procedures for firms with five audit partners or less
  • The International Quality Assurance Review programme for all firms with an audit practice.

The Internal Inspection Programme for audit is performed at firm level on an annual basis by the firm’s partners and directors. A set of global criteria for what constitutes a satisfactory Internal Inspection Programme has been developed which covers an assessment and monitoring of our firms’ compliance with professional standards, including leadership responsibility for quality, ethics and independence, client acceptance and continuance, human resources, engagement performance and monitoring. The evaluation of a firm’s performance also involves the review of a sample of assurance engagements.

Other Monitoring Procedures are implemented and performed at firm level by the firm’s partners and directors on a periodic or continuous basis, depending on the nature of the procedure. These other Monitoring Procedures are focused on compliance with professional standards and incremental BDO standards.

Quality monitoring on a global level within BDO originates from the BDO Regulations, which stipulate that each firm is subject to regular Quality Assurance Reviews. In practice, this results in a process where each firm is reviewed at least once every three years.

The scope of a Quality Assurance Review covers an assessment of the design and effectiveness of the firm’s Internal Inspection Programme or other Monitoring Procedures, an assessment of compliance with professional and incremental BDO standards and the review of a sample of assurance engagements.

The Quality Assurance Review programme is managed by the Global Quality & Risk Management department and is carried out by a team of independent and suitably qualified dedicated reviewers, for whom an ongoing training process is in place.

Many of our firms are also subject to external inspections by local professional institutes and local regulators, or undergo a peer review.


The primary purpose of the accreditation process is to enhance all our firms’ focus on quality, in line with the key global strategic aim to deliver consistently high quality services. Both the process of, and the criteria included in BDO’s internal accreditation procedure were revised and strengthened during 2017.

Based on an assessment of compliance with 56 criteria, every firm receives an accreditation score for each of the following categories:

  • Audit & Assurance
  • Tax Advisory Services
  • Tax Compliance Services
  • Advisory Services
  • Business Services & Outsourcing
  • Risk Management
  • Business Development & Marketing
  • HR & Development
  • Firm Development & Governance
  • Information Technology.


BDO is dedicated to upholding the highest ethical standards and maintaining compliance with the independence standards of the International Federation of Accountants and the respective local regulatory organisations. Independence is the cornerstone of our profession. It is the fundamental principle from which reliability of audit, review and other assurance reports to third parties is based.

BDO firms’ independence and objectivity on assurance clients is achieved through the Global Independence Programme (the Programme), a framework comprising eight elements (including, not limited to Policies & procedures, Technology, Training & Communications, and Monitoring & Reporting).

Each firm appoints a designated Independence Champion, an experienced professional who is responsible for implementing and monitoring compliance with the Programme.

BDO maintains a worldwide database of all our firms’ restricted entities, including listed companies and other public interest entities. This is available on the global intranet with the objective of preventing the performance of prohibited non-assurance services or investment in these entities. The worldwide database is continuously updated and the Independence Champions positively affirm both the accuracy of their firm’s listing, as well as their firm’s compliance with the Programme.

Prior to accepting any new client or assurance engagement, comprehensive due diligence is performed. BDO firms perform specific procedures to identify any potential conflicts of interest and threats to independence. These procedures include the use of a global technology solution that facilitates international conflict and independence requests across BDO.