Wipfli logo

Bank on Wipfli - Blog and Podcast


Lessons on oversight: Don't put off an MRI or QAR

Jul 17, 2023
By: Claire M. Jarchow

This year I suffered a knee injury while playing soccer. Given the pain I felt immediately in the days following, I knew I needed to get checked out. I went to the doctor, who gave me some physical tests and took an X-ray.

The X-ray showed nothing out of the ordinary, and I passed the physical tests with little to no discomfort. The doctor suggested I give it a few weeks before deciding whether scheduling an MRI made sense as it was likely just a sprain.

Months went by, and I was generally doing okay. But certain movements did cause a little pain. Ultimately, I decided to get the MRI because I felt it was not necessarily a “things just take longer to heal when you get older” situation.

The MRI showed that I had torn my ACL and meniscus. I felt shocked, and it wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but I was finally able to pinpoint the issue, schedule needed surgery and start the road to recovery.

I questioned why I didn’t get the MRI sooner if things didn’t feel quite right. How had I been living my day-to-day seemingly uninterrupted while also having a significant injury?  Although my story stems from a very specific injury that simply went undiscovered until I had the right third party come in to pinpoint the issue so I could start my road to recovery, your internal audit function may be experiencing something similar.

When was your last quality assurance review?

Your audit function may be going through life seemingly just fine, with minimal interruptions/pain points. However, have you asked yourself lately if your internal audit function receives the right amount of oversight? When was its last quality assurance review (QAR)?

Just as the X-ray I had early on didn’t catch my true knee injury, the level of review of the internal audit activity completed by examiners during a regular safety and soundness exam cycle may not be sufficient.

A more thorough MRI scan, akin to the thoroughness of an Institute of Internal Auditors’ (IIA’s) QAR, may be necessary to see what really happened and pinpoint the issue.

Whether major issues in an internal audit department are uncovered or you simply receive industry best practice recommendations, ensuring you have the right type of review for your internal audit activity can make the difference in making certain your internal audit team is on the right track and providing the value needed for your organization.

You may be thinking, “My internal audit team audits several functions, but no one ever audits them,” or “The audit team is audited internally, but never in depth by an outside party.” Or perhaps your institution is coming up on the five-year mark for an external assessment of your internal audit function to comply with the IIA standards. Consider the importance of a QAR.

Getting the proper oversight for your internal audit can be as valuable for your organization as getting appropriate and timely medical attention after a sports injury.

How Wipfli can help

quality assurance review from Wipfli professionals can provide insight into performance gaps and build greater value in your internal audit function. We can perform a full-scope audit assessment, validate your own internal self-assessment or even perform your first internal assessment to lay the groundwork for a more defined internal audit department. Learn more about Wipfli’s internal audit services.

Sign up to receive additional content from Wipfli in your inbox or continue reading on:


Claire M. Jarchow, CPA, CIA
Senior Manager, Internal Audit
View Profile
Bank on Wipfli blog
Subscribe to Bank on Wipfli - Blog and Podcast