Speed dating for investments

By Abigail Draper, OSCPA marketing manager 

Jen Allen, CPA, partner at Crowe said there are several investment options that look similar, but it’s important to identify the type of investment a benefit plan holds to properly audit and record it. 

“As an example, I have seen mutual funds, pooled separate accounts and collective trusts, three different types of investments, which all have the same name,” Allen said. 

Woman smiling for camera.

Allen and Peggy Bradley, senior vice president, regulatory financial reporting specialist at Northern Trust, will present on auditing advanced investments at OSCPA’s upcoming Employee Benefit Plan Audit Virtual Conference.  

Allen said she and Bradley often refer to this session as “speed dating for investments.”  

“During the session, we will introduce attendees to several different types of commingled investments, discuss how to differentiate between the different types of investments, provide guidance on how to determine fair value of the various investment types, and offer insights on the various financial disclosure requirements,” Allen said. 

They will also provide attendees with tools and materials to use in assessing whether fair value is based on net asset value as a practical expedient. 

Since 2020 was a year unlike any other, Allen said audits may be a little more difficult because there is no historically similar year. But she said to remember that just like any other audit, it’s important to verify the information you have and keep a questioning mind. 

“The first answer in this area is rarely the whole story.” 

To attend this session and more, register for the Employee Benefit Plan Audit Conference on April 23.