Advocacy update: Testifying on ERISA audits

The advisory council sought recommendations.

An AICPA committee leader testified recently at a public hearing by the Department of Labor's ERISA Advisory Council, "Beyond Plan Audit Compliance: Improving the Financial Statement Audit Process."

The AICPA responded to the council's request for recommendations on "actions the Secretary of Labor may take with respect to increasing the knowledge and understanding of the plan administrator that procures financial statement audit services, and on improving the procedures that such plan administrators implement in selecting an auditor."

James Haubrock, CPA, CGMA, chair of the executive committee of the AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center, outlined how the audit process can help plan administrators fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities by providing an opportunity and discipline to demonstrate due diligence by reviewing and enhancing plan governance, operations, records, internal control, compliance, and reporting.

In other advocacy news, the AICPA has:

  • Submitted more than 140 recommendations on the IRS guidance priority list.
  • Expressed support and particular concerns about FASB's intent to modify disclosure requirements.
  • Commented on the independent Brydon Review into the quality and effectiveness of audit in the United Kingdom.
  • Urged the U.S. Senate to confirm bilateral income tax treaties and protocols.

VIDEO

Excel walk-through: Sparklines

Want to liven up your spreadsheets with some color and graphical elements? Kelly L. Williams, CPA, Ph.D., shows how to use Excel sparklines, which illustrate data trends and patterns via small charts that fit in a single Excel cell.

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What’s next for potential CPA licensure changes

A new model proposed by NASBA and the AICPA is designed with an eye on the future for newly licensed CPAs. The AICPA's Carl Mayes, CPA, provides background on the project and a look ahead to 2020.