When an auditor is considering accepting an engagement to audit financial statements and/or after a new auditor has been engaged to audit financial statements that have been audited by another firm in previous years,
Yearly Archives: 2015
Contrary to popular belief, the audit procedures for a first-time audit of a previously small plan are not limited to the retirement plan’s financial activity for the year under audit.
The amount available under the 15-year catch-up provision is based on the number of years of service and the total contributions previously made.
In my previous blog, “The Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program – Overview”, I discussed the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFCP).
By filing through the VFCP, a plan sponsor will receive a no-action letter from the EBSA indicating to the plan that the EBSA will not take civil action against the plan sponsor with regard to this specific transaction in the submission. It is also important to note that there is no application fee to file through the VFCP.
In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes, and retirement plan operational errors. Two decades of plan audits have shown time and time again that even the most accurate plan sponsor is not immune from making one of the common errors.
The DOL has released the report on its fourth study of audit quality. Revealing a shocking turn for the worse, 39% of the plan audits in the sample did not comply with professional audit standards, up from 33% in the 2004 study, 19% in 1997 study, and 23% in the 1988 study.
The Department of Labor (DOL) released its report on employee benefit plan audits (Assessing the Quality of Employee Benefit Plan Audits) on May 28, 2015. As I discussed in my last blog, DOL Audit Quality Study: Employee Benefit Plan Auditors Are not Making the Grade, the report is not favorable to auditors. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is making an effort to address these quality issues through its Enhancing Audit Quality initiative.
At last week’s American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Employee Benefit Plan (EBP) Conference, the Department of Labor (DOL) compared auditing retirement plans to brain surgery. The analogy was meant to indicate that a patient would not seek out a general practitioner to perform brain surgery, due to the highly complex nature of the service and the lack of experience the general medical practitioner would have at performing the service.
Although the Internal Revenue Code trumps IRS Publications, practitioners tend to use the Publications as the initial resource when handling day-to-day tax issues.