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Advanced Audits of 401(k) Plans: Best Practices and Current Developments (AAFP)

Thursday, May 26, 2022
09:00 AM - 05:00 PM (Eastern)

Melissa Critcher, CPA, PC

  • Format Webinar
  • Credits 8
  • Level Advanced
  • Field of Study Auditing (8)



As we saw from the recent United States Department of Labor review of employee benefit plan audits and recent peer review results, auditors need to raise their game in order to provide the quality audits that plan stakeholders demand. Now with SAS 136, the AICPA’s new audit standard for employee benefit plans (EBP), effective, it is now the time to get up to speed on all the guidance which you will need to perform your EBP audits for this year end.

In this advanced course, we will discuss both what’s the same, and different, under SAS 136, including both auditor’s and plan sponsor’s responsibilities when electing and performing an ERISA Section 103(a)(3)(C) audit. We will also discuss laws and regulations such as ERISA which are unique to employee benefit plans and provide practical guidance on their application, focusing on the most common compliance issues identified in 401(k) audits from both Department of Labor and peer reviews, along with recommended corrections. Auditors will identify best practices in implementing SAS 136 and auditing such areas as payroll and compensation, participant loans, hardship distributions, investments, plan mergers/acquisitions, etc. This is the course to take to help you improve the quality of your 401(k) benefit plan audits.

Major Topics:

  • SAS 136 audit requirements for ERISA Section 103(a)(3)(C) audits
  • Annual update of the changes affecting 401(k) plans
  • Compliance issues associated with eligibility and enrollments, remittances, lack of oversight, compensation, vesting, etc.
  • Best practices for engagement planning, internal controls, risk assessment, and detailed testing
  • How to avoid common mistakes made while performing audit procedures
  • Plan mergers and acquisitions
  • Common audit reporting and disclosure issues

Learning Objectives

  • Identify key provisions of SAS 136
  • Identify the current year changes to the rules and regulations affecting 401(k) plans
  • Examine the most common compliance issues encountered in 401(k) plan audits, what to watch out for, and what can be done to ensure compliance
  • Perform efficient and effective procedures associated with planning, internal controls, risk assessment, and detailed audit
  • Explain the documentation and procedures related to plan mergers and acquisitions
  • Discuss best practices associated with advanced audit areas including participant loans, payroll, compensation, investments, etc.
  • Understand the risks associated with a benefit plan audit engagement

Who should take this course:

Experienced practitioners responsible for planning and performing employee benefit plan audit engagements

Detailed understanding of auditing defined contribution plans








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