Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA Does your 401(k) or 403(b) plan auditor belong to the AICPA’s Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center (EBPAQC)? To demonstrate their commitment to quality in the performance of ERISA audits, 2,600 CPA firms, about a third of the firms that perform EBP audits, have become members of the Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality … Continued
Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA The AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Digital Badges: How can plan sponsors evaluate prospective auditors who are equally credentialed with digital badges? Is your auditor a Jack of all trades, but a master of none? As the results of the DOL studies on audit quality shift the industry focus to the qualifications of employee … Continued
Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA What Auditors Don’t Do In our previous blog, Testing the work of a specialist in a retirement plan audit: how much expertise does the financial statement auditor need?, I explained that auditors cannot be expected to perform or completely re-perform the duties of other professionals, like the actuary, ERISA attorney, third-party administrator, and … Continued
Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA Testing the work of a specialist in a retirement plan audit: How much expertise does the financial statement auditor need? Service providers to the employee benefit plan (EBP) industry are often highly intelligent people that talk in “code”: Internal Revenue Code and ERISA Regulation sections. The legislation that regulates retirement plans encompasses … Continued
Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA The Truth Will Set You Free, but First, It Will Make You Miserable When it comes to reporting prohibited transactions (PT) with parties-in-interest, it’s better to come clean, confess, and report on the supplementary schedules to the audited financial statements than to deny any wrongdoing. Withholding information results in inaccurate supplementary schedules, … Continued
Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA A new auditing standard (expected to be issued in 2019), Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements of Employee Benefit Plans Subject to ERISA (“Audit Standard” or “EBP SAS”) would be effective for audits performed starting in 2021 for plans with financial statement periods ending on or after December 15, 2020. Early … Continued
Posted by Maria Hurd, CPA, RPA Updated May 22, 2019 First Things First: The Engagement Letter The new audit standard, Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements of Employee Benefit Plans Subject to ERISA, effective for plan years ending on or after December 15, 2020, will require certain management representations as a pre-condition for engagement acceptance. Specifically, auditors … Continued
In late 2018, the Auditing Standards Board (ASB) voted to issue a final balloted draft of SAS 13X, which addresses the auditor’s responsibility to form an opinion and report on the audit of financial statements of employee benefit plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
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.
In my previous blog, “How to Order a Triple Stack Match for your Plan,” I discussed the basics of the triple stack match formula.