Impact of Upcoming Exposure Draft for Employee Benefit Plans

by Amanda Bernard, CPA, CFE, CMA

​abernard@maillie.com

In April 2017, the AICPA released an exposure draft related to the auditor’s opinion and reporting on financial statements of employee benefit plans subject to ERISA, with the main goal of clarifying and improving the relevance of the auditor’s report for these plans.  The proposed changes are expected to be effective for audits of financial statements for periods ending on or after December 15, 2020.  New audit report wording will clarify the scope of the responsibilities of management and the auditor in instances where an ERISA-permitted audit scope limitation is imposed, and the auditor is relying on the certification of the investment information.  In addition, the proposed auditing standard requires an auditor to report findings from procedures performed on specific plan provisions relating to the financial statements and provides additional considerations relating to Form 5500.  As a result, new audit procedures may need to be incorporated that were not previously performed.

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