First, you might be curious if a Quality Assessment Review (QAR) is a requirement for an Internal Audit Department. QARs are requirements for Audit Departments that wish to comply with the International Standards for Professional Practice of Internal Auditing. To remain current, an organization must conduct an external quality assessment by an independent consultant or firm that offers audit services at least every five years.
Some other questions that might come to mind include:
What are the primary Objectives of a Quality Assessment Review?
The primary objectives of a Quality Assessment Review are two-fold. The first and foremost is to determine how an organization’s Audit Department rates compared to other Audit Departments and where there are opportunities for improvement. The second objective and equally important is to evaluate the Internal Audit Department’s compliance with the “auditing standards”. Again, this is to benchmark the Audit Department’s performance verses industry standards.
Who should conduct the QAR?
An audit consulting firm that offers outsourced internal audit services.
What type of work is performed during an QAR assessment?
Some of the work performed during the quality review process by an external consultant includes:
- Review, verification, and evaluation of the self-assessment prepared by the Internal Audit department, in accordance with The Institute of Internal Auditors’ (IIA) guidelines.
- Interviews with the General Auditor, Internal Audit department staff, the external auditor, the executive management team and the audit committee members.
- Review and evaluation of audit work papers.
- Review of internal audit’s policies and procedures, annual risk assessment, annual audit plan, and other relevant documents.
What is the value to an organization?
- To obtain an unbiased, outside opinion on the operations of an organization’s Internal Audit Department, and to determine if the Department’s activities conform to the IIA’s International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing. Typically, the external consultant will rank the Internal Audit function as one of the following (from lowest to highest rating) – Initial, Repeatable, Defined, Managed or Optimized. The evaluation is based on the Internal Audit Process Maturity Chart as defined by the IIA.
- To find out if the internal audit department is independent, objective, and able to render impartial and unbiased judgments on the audit work performed.
- To determine if the staff is qualified, proficient, and knowledgeable in the areas they audit.
- To provide a check that individual audit projects are planned using risk assessment techniques, audit conclusions are supported in the work papers, and findings and recommendations are communicated clearly and concisely.
- To determine if Management considers the Internal Audit function to be a useful part of overall operations and whether the audit process and report recommendations, in general, are constructive and help improve the organization’s ability to meet objectives.
Control Solutions has many years of experience performing Quality Assessment Reviews (QAR) for our clients. Founded in 1991, Control Solutions International, Inc. is a global internal audit and consulting firm delivering a unique combination of thought leadership, technical knowledge and practical experience in more than 35 countries.
Control Solutions International is a wholly owned subsidiary of Staffing 360 Solutions Inc. (STAF) an emerging public company in the international staffing sector engaged in the acquisition and successful integration of U.S. and European staffing agencies.
We are committed to our philosophy of tailoring our approach and methodology to our client’s unique requirements. This coupled with our strategy of only employing highly experienced professionals, with a minimum of three years of relevant experience, enables us to provide great innovation in the most highly technical and specialized areas while also delivering the most routine of internal audit services.