The AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center (EBPAQC) has prepared the Plan Advisory, The Importance of Hiring a Quality Firm to Perform Your Employee Benefit Plan Audit, to assist plan sponsors, plan administrators, and trustee with an understanding of the importance of hiring a quality auditor to perform their employee benefit plan financial statement audit.
Generally, the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) requires employee benefit plans with 100 or more participants to have an audit as part of their obligation to file an annual return/report (Form 5500 Series). If your employee benefit plan is required to have an audit, one of your most important duties is to hire an independent qualified public accountant, and to ensure that the plan has obtained a quality audit accordance with ERISA and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) requirements. The sponsor of the plan is the plan administrator under the law unless another individual or entity is specifically designated to assume this responsibility. The term plan administrator as used throughout this document refers to the party that is the plan administrator, including a plan sponsor, third-party administrator or trustee.
This advisory describes:
- why a financial statement audit is important
- risks to plan sponsors if a quality audit is not performed
- evaluating auditor qualifications
- the proposal process, including the request for proposal, proposal evaluation and auditor selection
- and documenting the agreement.
Download this whitepaper to learn more about hiring a quality auditor .