Principal Gets Auditor Opinion for ESOP Client Services

March 3, 2011 ( – The Principal Financial Group has obtained an independent audit opinion issued according to Statement of Auditing Standards No. 70 (also known as SAS 70) for the processes it performs for public and private ESOP clients.

A news release said The Principal is now one of the only plan service providers to obtain SAS 70 audits for all four core retirement plan types: defined contribution, defined benefit, nonqualified, and both public and private ESOP plans.

The SAS 70 audit report gives ESOP auditors easy access to information they need about the processes The Principal has in place. In turn, this helps ESOP sponsors ensure the efficiency of their plan operations, the company said.

“By streamlining the audit process, the SAS 70 audit can reduce ESOP sponsors’ costs and gives an added layer of assurance and accuracy,” says Jacque Mohs, vice president of retirement and investor services, The Principal, in the announcement. “The SAS 70 audit can also help reduce the number of questions ESOP sponsors receive from their auditor.”

In addition to streamlining the audit process, the SAS 70 audit can also help ESOP sponsors comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, The Principal said. These regulations require ESOP sponsors to determine if processes for generating financial statements can consistently produce accurate information.

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