This is the first of a series of articles on quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA) considerations for financial crime teams.
The importance of quality control and quality assurance in the context of a financial crime control environment cannot be overstated. An organisation’s processes could be complete and perfectly written. Their systems might be fit for purpose and high performing. Their first line controls might be highly tailored to their risk appetite. Their governance framework might be well designed with accurate Management Information available. However, if their QC and QA is not operationally effective, they won’t know for sure that everything is working as it should.
Let’s start with some definitions. Sometimes QC and QA are used interchangeably, but we should set out what we mean by each term.
The American Society for Quality (ASQ) is a global community of quality professionals. They explain the difference as follows: While quality assurance relates to how a process is performed or how a product is made, quality control is more the inspection aspect of quality management. An alternate definition [of quality control] is “the operational techniques and activities used to fulfil requirements for quality.”
The table below provides a bit more detail about the differences.
Of course, QA and QC need to work together for an organisation to have a measure of the quality of their financial crime framework. A well-designed quality framework gives comfort to organisations that their systems, processes and controls are working effectively and, ultimately, detecting and preventing financial crime.
Stayed tuned for further articles on this topic.
SQA Consulting helps organisations ensure their financial crime frameworks are effective. If you would like to hear more about our work, then please contact us.