What’s ahead for employee benefit plan audits

Written on Mar 28, 2019

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager

James_G_HaubrockPart of the challenge for those tasked with employee benefit plan audits will be staying informed on relevant updates.

“People want to know about what’s going on at the Department of Labor,” said Jim Haubrock, CPA, shareholder and treasurer at Clark Schaefer Hackett.

Haubrock will be at the April 25 Employee Benefit Plan Audit Conference in Columbus, presenting a session on the Audit Quality Center Update.

As far as what attendees could expect from employee benefit plan audits in the future, Haubrock shared insight into some possibilities.

“I think the DOL will increase their enforcement and scrutiny of the audit process, which in turn requires peer review and other regulatory bodies to monitor what’s going on,” he said. “Because there are some new peer review standards out there related to employee benefit plans and all of the questions peer reviewers have to address. There’s also emphasis at the AICPA level on risk assessment, and that’s coming fast and furious.”

Haubrock’s session will cover learning about quality initiatives and best practices the AICPA Audit Quality Center is promoting. He said the center is in the process of assembling webinars and other tools to help members. In addition to his session on audit quality, he will be moderating the general session for with Marcus Aron, CPA, from the DOL and on an “ask the expert” panel with Aron and other practitioners with deep knowledge of the area.

He said since 2011 the number of firms doing plan audits has declined over 25%, making accurate audits even more important.

“It’s all about performing a quality audit,” he said. “Because the Department of Labor looks to the AICPA standards as their roadmap to what a quality audit should look like.”

Register for the conference here

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