The Importance of Internal Control in Financial Reporting and Safeguarding Plan Assets

The AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center has prepared this advisory to assist you as a plan sponsor, administrator, or trustee in understanding how internal control over financial reporting is critical to your plan.

As a plan sponsor, administrator, or trustee, you are considered a fiduciary under ERISA. As such, you are subject to certain fiduciary responsibilities, and with these responsibilities comes potential liability. Under ERISA, your responsibilities include plan administration functions such as maintaining the financial books and records of the plan, and filing a complete and accurate annual return/report for your plan. Because errors and fraud can and do occur, it is important that you establish internal controls and safeguards for your plan to ensure you can adequately meet your fiduciary responsibilities. This guide will discuss:

  • Why internal control is important to your plan
  • The basics of internal control
  • How to establish cost-effective controls
  • Monitoring your controls
  • Plan auditor communications of internal control deficiencies
  • How your plan auditor can help you improve the effectiveness of your plan’s internal control
  • Where to obtain additional information about internal controls

In addition, this advisory contains helpful examples of controls you should consider establishing for your plan.

Download this whitepaper to learn more about Internal Controls in Financial Reporting and How to Safeguard Your Plan’s Assets.