he Institute has taken
significant steps over the years to strengthen the quality
of audits to protect the public interest. Its latest action
in this ongoing program is the creation of the Employee
Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center, which focuses on
strengthening audits of benefit plans. To be as efficient
and effective as possible, the center provides a single
access point where members can learn about the latest
developments in employee benefit plan audits—and communicate
with other member firms.
The audit quality center
will make a significant contribution to raising performance
expectations of CPA firms performing benefit plan audits.
The Institute also plans to launch a Government Audit
Quality Center this summer as part of its broader effort to
deliver tools and techniques to members in their efforts to
provide high-quality audits.
The activities of the
Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center will be directed
by a center executive committee appointed by S. Scott
Voynich, AICPA board chairman. According to Voynich: “This
center provides a forum that spurs CPA firms performing
audits to make immediate quality improvements to employee
benefit plan audits under the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act (ERISA). In addition to gaining access to best
practices, guidance and tools focusing on quality
improvement, members of the center will be subject to
requirements that demonstrate each firm’s commitment to
audit quality in this area.”
“The center is intended
to make a direct statement to members of our profession
about the importance of their audit performance,” said Susan
Coffey, vice-president of audit quality and professional
ethics. “It will give members the tools they need to adhere
to a high standard of quality. And it will be a place where
firms dedicated to quality auditing of benefit plans will
share best practices, learn about emerging issues and take
steps to enhance quality in their practices.”
center has begun accepting member applications. For more
information go to
WHAT IT IS |
The center will
create a community of firms committed to performing
quality employee benefit plan audits, including
defined benefit, defined contribution and health and
welfare benefit plans. It will provide a
comprehensive resource for member firms and others
in the employee benefit plan arena. The center’s Web
WHAT IT OFFERS
provides enhanced resources to CPA firms that
audit employee benefit plans. The objectives of
the center are to
Draw together CPA firms with a common
interest in performing high-quality audits.
Provide comprehensive resources for
Assemble center members in online
forums for sharing best practices.
Deliver periodic updates on audit,
accounting and regulatory issues through news
alerts and webcasts.
Create a single voice representing
firm interests in performing quality employee
benefit plan audits.
Raise awareness of the importance of
employee benefit plan audits.
Offer information about the center’s
activities to employee benefit plan stakeholders.
WHO CAN JOIN
open to CPA firms that meet the center’s