|American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Shirley Twillman
AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center
Issues Tool to Help Plan Sponsors Select Their Plan Auditor
New Tool Outlines Critical Steps of the Audit Proposal and Evaluation Process
Washington, DC (February 27, 2006)—A tool to help plan sponsors select the most qualified plan auditor has been released by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (AICPA) Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center (EBPAQC).
It is part of the on-going effort by the EBPAQC to raise awareness of the importance of audits performed on the financial statements of employee benefit plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Such plans include pension, health and welfare, and 401(k) plans.
"A well performed audit helps plan sponsors fulfill their fiduciary requirements and produces better information to manage the plan and protect plan participants. Those hiring the plan auditor are responsible for carefully assessing the qualifications of the audit firm before the hiring decision is made," Ian MacKay, Director of the EBPAQC, said.
The tool, Obtaining Quality Employee Benefit Plan Audit Services: The Request for Proposal and Auditor Evaluation Process, was developed to provide those charged with the responsibility for hiring a plan auditor with information about the critical steps of the proposal and auditor evaluation process. It describes the contents of the Request for Proposal (RFP) and contains a checklist of items that should be considered in preparing an RFP. It also discusses the proposal evaluation and auditor selection process, and provides information about how to find an auditor. The document is available on the Center’s website at:
The EBPAQC comprises over 1,050 CPA firms and serves as a comprehensive resource provider for member firms to support them in the performance of employee benefit plan audits. Center members demonstrate their commitment by voluntarily agreeing to adhere to stringent membership requirements aimed at improving ERISA audit quality. The Center has a dedicated website at http://www.aicpa.org/ebpaqc.
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (www.aicpa.org) is the national, professional association of CPAs, with approximately 350,000 members, including CPAs in business and industry, public practice, government, and education; student affiliates; and international associates. It sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for audits of private companies; federal, state and local governments; and non-profit organizations. It also develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination.
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