Thomson Reuters has released PPC’s Practice Aids for Audits of Form 11-K Benefit Plans to guide professionals auditing defined contribution plans that are required to file Form 11-K with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Department of Labor issued a report last year criticizing the quality of employee benefit plan audits by CPAs, and the AICPA has pledged to fix the problem (see AICPA Pushes for Auditing and Assurance Changes). The Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration found serious deficiencies in 39 percent of the audits of employee benefit plans that it examined.

Thomson Reuters noted that audits of employee benefit plans, especially plans that are required to file Form 11-K, differ significantly from audits of other types of entities. These audits must comply with auditing standards generally accepted in the United States (U.S. GAAS) and the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. Using this new tool in conjunction with PPC’s SMART Practice Aids Audit Suite automates the audit process for 11-K benefit plan engagements.

“Many of our customers have told us about their struggles when auditing employee benefit plans that have to file Form 11-K,” said Mark Wells, CPA, senior manager with the Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters, in a statement. “These new tools meet their needs, helping them comply with all of the requirements and perform high-quality audits.”

The Practice Aids include introductory material explaining the intricacies of employee benefit plan audits and the different communications and reporting that are required, along with audit programs with extensive practical considerations. The audit checklists include a disclosure checklist, partner rotation documentation form and engagement completion document. Confirmation and correspondence letters include engagement and management representation letters and communications with those charged with governance. Illustrative auditor’s reports comply with U.S. GAAS and PCAOB auditing standards.

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