Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

EBSA-Enhanced Programs to Assess Plan Audit Quality: AICPA Issues New Alert and Guide to Address Issues

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

EBSA-Enhanced Programs to Assess Plan Audit Quality: AICPA Issues New Alert and Guide to Address Issues

Article excerpt

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is enhancing its programs aimed at assessing and improving the quality of employee benefit plan audits.

According to the EBSA, 37 public accounting firms audit more than 100 plans that cover approximately 80 percent of plan assets subject to audit. In addition, 8,200 firms perform five or fewer audits. Accordingly, the EBSA has modified its approach for selecting and evaluating ERISA audits, using both top-down and bottom-up strategies.

First, the EBSA will conduct periodic inspections of firms with substantial ERISA audit practices. EBSA staff will meet with firm management, review firm policies and procedures that relate to employee benefit plan audits, and conduct on-site reviews of a sample of ERISA audit engagements. This "top-down" approach will provide the EBSA a more efficient means of evaluating the quality of audit work performed by these large firms and ensure that findings and recommendations are communicated to those in a position to effect any necessary changes.

Audit quality will also be the primary focus of much of the EBSA's desk reviews. The agency will focus its in-house work on reviewing copies of selected audit working papers prepared by firms with small to medium-size audit practices. In instances in which deficient audit work is identified, the related Form 5500 filings will be subject to rejection, and auditors will potentially face referral to the AICPA's Professional Ethics Division or State Board of Public Accountancy. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.