WI Manufacturer


WI Manufacturer: Protecting the Family Investment with an Internal Control Assessment

Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the current control environment was just the first step for this Wisconsin manufacturer.

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Our client has an 80-year history of excellence in contract manufacturing. The Company succeeds by meeting or exceeding customer expectations in demanding industries, including defense, aerospace, electronics, and pollution abatement. From its location in Wisconsin, it services the needs of world-class customers with an on-site design engineering team, modern and fully-equipped sheet metal fabrication and weld shop, and paint facility.


This successful, family-owned business has significant stockholders who are not active in the daily operations of the Company. Although there was no indication the control structure was unsound, the ownership group’s strong desire to protect a significant family asset and to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the current control environment, made the decision to invest in an internal control assessment an easy and smart step. Our client needed proactive, independent insight on the health of its control environment and turned to Wipfli to provide an in-depth and professional assessment of internal controls.


This client runs lean and produces quality results. Wipfli knew the bar for meeting or exceeding the Company’s expectations would be equally high. Our team worked with the management to develop and deliver a "Goldilocks" assessment approach—not too deep so as to keep the investment reasonable and not too shallow so as to ensure that recommendations for control enhancement were meaningful and in line with the client’s culture. The strategy was custom-designed to satisfy the client’s objectives and included:

  • Facilitating a cross-functional risk assessment session to identify control objectives and model control risks, including risks of fraud, accounting errors and omissions, and treasury operations risks
  • Gathering key data on control strengths and weaknesses using interviews, observations, walk-throughs, and plant tours
  • Documenting the internal controls, objectives, and risks in a concise format to enhance the ownership group’s understanding of the control environment
  • Providing sound recommendations for cost-effective internal control improvements


This family-owned business represents a meaningful portion of the family’s net worth and legacy. As such, the preventative investment in a control assessment gave the family added assurance that this key asset was adequately protected from fraud, accounting errors and omissions, and internal control breakdown. The Company received not only an independent assessment, but also the added confidence that comes from internal control experts who know the manufacturing industry. After this internal control assessment the owners were in a better position to exercise their fiduciary responsibility for protecting and improving the resilience of an important family investment, the family business.

Wisconsin manufacturer, Manufacturing and Distribution

Anonymous, CEO

Wipfli conducted an internal control assessment of our financial operations in a professional and appropriate manner. They provided an expert and independent evaluation of our controls and gave us realistic suggestions on how to improve our systems which we have implemented. The review and improvements were well worth the cost and the comfort of knowing that we have sound controls in place.