Tool Helps Sponsors Choose Plan Auditor

February 27, 2006 ( - The American


Institute of Certified Public Accountants' (AICPA) Employee


Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center (EBPAQC) has released a


tool to help plan sponsors select the most qualified employee


benefit plan auditor.

In its announcement, EBPAQC said the tool is part of the on-going effort to raise awareness of the importance of audits performed on the financial statements of employee benefit plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), including pension, health and welfare, and 401(k) plans.

The tool, “Obtaining Quality Employee Benefit Plan Audit Services:   The Request for Proposal and Auditor Evaluation Process,” describes the contents of the Request for Proposal (RFP) and contains a checklist of items that should be considered in preparing an RFP.   It also discusses the proposal evaluation and auditor selection process, and provides information about how to find an auditor.

“A well performed audit helps plan sponsors fulfill their fiduciary requirements and produces better information to manage the plan and protect plan participants.   Those hiring the plan auditor are responsible for carefully assessing the qualifications of the audit firm before the hiring decision is made,” Ian MacKay, Director of the EBPAQC, said in the announcement.