Plan Advisories

The AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center prepares Plan Advisories for plan sponsors, administrators, and trustees. These comprehensive documents contain information to assist them in understanding their fiduciary and other responsibilities with respect to various aspects of their plans.

Partial employee benefit plan terminations
This advisory provides an understanding of partial plan terminations under ERISA and plan management’s related responsibilities.

The importance of retaining and protecting employee benefit plan records
This advisory provides an understanding of the importance of properly maintaining plan records, including retention requirements under ERISA, and the plan administrator’s responsibilities for protecting personally identifiable and other sensitive information.

Limited Scope Audits of Employee Benefit Plans
If your employee benefit plan is required to have an audit, in certain circumstances described in this advisory, you have the option to instruct the auditor not to perform any auditing procedures with respect to investment information. This advisory helps you understand these limited scope audits.

The Importance of Hiring a Quality Auditor to Perform Your Employee Benefit Plan Audit
Hiring a plan auditor plan administrators should use the same care and prudence in hiring a plan auditor that they use when hiring any individual or entity that provides services to the plan.

Employee Benefit PlansFinancial Statement Audits
Understand the independent audit of the financial statements of an employee benefit plan.

Understanding Auditor Communications
Plan Sponsors and others receive various communications from their plan auditors throughout the year.

Effective Monitoring of Outsourced Plan Recordkeeping and Reporting Functions
Hiring a service organization to perform plan administration services is a fiduciary function and, as such, plan administrators are required to periodically monitor their service organizations to ensure they are performing the agreed-upon services.

The Importance of Internal Controls in Financial Reporting and Safeguarding Plan Assets
Effective controls reduce the risk of asset loss and help ensure that plan information is complete and accurate, financial statements are reliable, and laws and regulations are complied with.

Valuing and Reporting Plan Investments
Investments are the most significant asset in a benefit plan, and plan management is responsible for ensuring proper valuation and reporting of those assets. Each different investment has unique valuation and disclosure considerations.