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As stakeholder expectations continuously evolve, organizations are facing a shift in the roles of internal audit and risk management. When internal audit and risk management functions work together, organizations experience improvements in efficiency, risk-monitoring and overall growth.

Internal Audit

The role of Internal Audit is to provide assurance to the Audit Committee, Board and management by undertaking independent and objective reviews, and by giving advice and recommendations related to an organization’s strategic, financial, operational, compliance and technology risks. Performing an internal audit is an opportunity to review your organization’s processes, controls, operations and finances in order to monitor risks, improve efficiency and effectiveness, and enhance the infrastructure to support growth.

The Brown Smith Wallace internal audit team provides internal audit or other advisory services to almost 50 percent of the top public companies and dozens of the largest privately owned businesses, governmental institutions, and not-for-profit organizations in the St. Louis metro area. In addition to serving as an organization’s outsourced provider, we also provide the following services to support a company’s internal audit function and capability:

  • Developing risk assessments and audit plans
  • Establishing an internal audit function and capability
  • Strategic planning and coaching for the internal audit function
  • Outsourcing and co-sourcing of internal audits and other projects [INFOGRAPHIC]
  • Providing data analysis capabilities to support audit efforts
  • Providing expertise related to specialized subject matter such as IT, construction, fraud and forensics, and insurance programs
  • Performing quality assessment reviews of the internal audit organization

We take great pride in being your trusted advisor. Our role as your advisor does not just include performing the identified assignments. It also includes providing leadership to your organization in the areas of risk management and process improvement. The depth and breadth of our internal audit experience along with the active involvement of our most senior team members allows us to bring ideas to help you improve your organization.

Enterprise Risk Management

Board members, stakeholders, management and company personnel have grown to expect more out of organizations in terms of their approaches to strategic planning and risk identification and mitigation. With technology constantly changing, businesses need to shift their focus quickly and often to stay up and running.

Today, many companies are incorporating Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) programs and concepts because it helps promote open discussion at various levels of the organization to identify and approach risks that could impact the day-to-day business as well as the strategic plans. Brown Smith Wallace professionals have the expertise to help you develop and conduct a cost-effective enterprise risk assessment that will help you:

  • Understand the significant risks facing the organization
  • Prioritize these risks in terms of severity of impact and probability of occurrence
  • Assist with management and Board alignment in understanding and approach to risk
  • Increase focus on managing risks associated with strategic objectives
  • Identify opportunities to improve risk monitoring and mitigation activities

Through our methodology and approach, the Brown Smith Wallace advisory team is able to evaluate risk and identify opportunities to improve our clients’ processes.

Learn more about how an internal audit or enterprise risk assessment can help your organization identify and approach risks. Contact Ted Flom today.



  • Brown Smith Wallace assisted the Archdiocese of St. Louis with an internal audit assessment of guidelines and controls related to electronic financial transactions at parishes made through shared accounting. Their team identified gaps in existing internal control guidelines and made recommendations to improve controls related to electronic transactions, including invoice transmission and processing, electronic check signatures, electronic bank statement reviews, online payments and electronic document retention. The final reported demonstrated a thorough understanding of our organization and its processes. Ultimately, the project resulted in recommendations that make sense based on how we operate and should help tighten controls in the long run once implemented. The knowledge and insight from the Brown Smith Wallace team was valuable, and we are appreciative of their expertise and the final report we received.

    Archdiocese of St. Louis

    Katie Feise, Internal Audit

  • Brown Smith Wallace has been instrumental in helping Belden build its internal audit, enterprise risk management, and Sarbanes-Oxley programs. I really appreciate the level of partner involvement and thought leadership and the impact they have had on our company.

    Belden, Inc.
    Jessica Herr, Director, Financial Planning – former

  • I worked with Brown Smith Wallace on several internal audit projects. I found them to be very knowledgeable of health care operations and understood how the work they completed was integrated into and enhanced our internal controls. One internal audit area of great help was the analysis and development of controls related to data access and its meaningful use implications.

    BJC Health Care
    Mary Riggs, Manager

  • Brown Smith Wallace performed a fraud risk assessment for the City of St. Charles Parks and Recreation Department to identify potential occupational fraud risks within the financial and accounting processes, evaluate existing internal controls, and recommend the implementation of controls and processes designed to properly address those risks. As a result of that risk assessment, the firm identified opportunities to improve our internal controls and recommended ways to better prevent fraud in the future.

    City of St. Charles Parks & Recreation Department

    Maralee Britton, Director of Parks and Recreation

  • Brown Smith Wallace has assisted the City of St. Louis in a review of its Internal Audit function in accordance with professional standards outlined by the Institute of Internal Auditors. The team from Brown Smith Wallace, led by Ron Steinkamp, provided the City with recommendations related to Internal Audit that should improve Internal Audit’s conformance to the professional standards as well as the efficiency and effectiveness in which they operate. I highly recommend Brown Smith Wallace.

    City of St. Louis/Comptroller’s Office
    Elaine Harris Spearman, Esq., Former Legal Advisor & Chief of Staff

  • I joined what is now Siemens PLM Software in late 2004 after a career in public accounting with a Big Four firm. I started the Internal Audit function, and co-sourced with Brown Smith Wallace for our international and domestic SOX and internal audit work. Initially, I used a Big 4 firm for the IT audit and controls testing for our global SAP environment. After the first year, I moved all the work to Brown Smith Wallace because they demonstrated their expertise and know-how. Our IT management appreciated the service improvement from Brown Smith Wallace’s more experienced and competent IT audit professionals. Although the nature of the projects we do with Brown Smith Wallace has evolved over the past 5 years, we continue to work with them because they combine high quality service with fair rates to deliver value. In short, it’s always quality work with no surprises.

    Siemens PLM Software
    Tom Beitel, Vice President, Finance, Global Zone Operations

  • Brown Smith Wallace has assisted St. Louis Public Schools by providing internal audit and other consulting services since 2016. To date, they have completed audits of student transportation, student activity accounts, purchasing and food service. These audits have provided the school district with key guidance to improve our internal controls, recommendations to strengthen controls over contractor compliance and monitoring, and the opportunity to potentially generate savings in the future.

    St. Louis Public Schools

    Ernest Clark, Director of Audit and Compliance

  • The University of Missouri System requested that Brown Smith Wallace provide data analysis expertise to analyze our purchasing card transactions over a two-year period. They developed testing criteria in collaboration with the UM System Internal Audit team and other UM System personnel familiar with current p-card processes. Brown Smith Wallace took the time to understand our policies, process workflows, system inputs, reports, prior audit findings and available files for data analysis use. They also worked with UM System personnel to identify and develop data analytic tests, risk assessment criteria, and sampling strategies. UM System personnel will also partner with Brown Smith Wallace to design, develop and implement an ongoing monitoring process for the redesigned One Card processes and controls incorporating the use of data analysis. We appreciate Brown Smith Wallace being a collaborative partner as we work to continuously improve our processes and procedures within the UM System.

    University of Missouri

    Michelle Piranio, Chief Audit Executive

  • Over the last 10 years, Washington University has leveraged the Brown Smith Wallace construction audit team to help us effectively monitor more than 30 capital projects on the Danforth and Medical School campuses. The firm has been a true partner in these efforts, getting involved in our projects early on as contracts are being developed. They work side by side with our planning, development and construction teams and internal audit team to head off and resolve issues, as well as recover and avoid unnecessary or invalid costs. This partnership has been incredibly important in helping the university build and maintain a strong construction program and control environment. 

    Washington University
    Kathy Gaytan, Director of Internal Audit

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