The knowledge auditors need during the pandemic

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager 

A firm grasp on the details of the CARES Act will be essential for auditors as they navigate their work during the pandemic. 

“It's really important to have a solid understanding of the provisions of the CARES Act and understanding loans and distributions,” said Michelle Buckley, CPA, vice president at Meaden & Moore. 

Woman smiling for camera.

“For loans, there were specific timeframes that were laid out in the regulations that some people may not be aware of.” she said. “With distributions, the Act provided qualification requirements. The Plan Sponsor can rely on the employee’s certification that the employee had met the eligibility requirements for the coronavirus distribution. The Plan Sponsor does not have to verify that the employee was eligible.” 

Buckley will present “Unique Audit Issues in a Pandemic Environment,” at the Employee Benefit Plan Audit Virtual Conference on April 23

Along with a review of the CARES Act provisions and the impact on auditing, she will also cover considerations associated with liquidations, partial plan terminations and frozen plans. 

Buckley said professionals might have questions about partial plan terminations, which could happen if an employer has a significant change in the workforce. Professionals might also consider changes with internal controls, and how that will impact risk assessment. 

“They need to have an understanding of the changes in the law,” she said. “And the additional notices that were issued regarding partial determination, plan terminations and timely remittance of contributions.”