United States

Audit & Accounting Guide for employee benefit plans updated


The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Audit & Accounting Guide, Employee Benefit Plans, was updated as of January 1, 2016. Josephine Hammond, RSM’s National Director of Employee Benefit Plan Services and a member of the AICPA Employee Benefit Plans Expert Panel, is acknowledged for her contributions as the Task Force Chair for the 2016 guide committee.

The guide is directed primarily to those aspects of the preparation and audit of financial statements that are unique to employee benefit plans or are considered particularly significant to them. As such, this guide is an important resource for plan fiduciaries and those who are responsible for the preparation or oversight of a benefit plan’s financial statements, as well as their auditors. This guide also is useful to organizations that provide services for a benefit plan, particularly when those services impact financial reporting. This version of the guide includes a new chapter on the accounting for and auditing of employee stock ownership plans. Among other revisions, this edition also includes information on the simplification of disclosure requirements for investments in certain entities that calculate net asset value per share (or its equivalent), the simplification of disclosures for fully benefit-responsive investment contracts, plan investment disclosures and a measurement date practical expedient. Because this 2016 guide illustrates these simplification standards as if previously adopted, those plans that have not yet adopted these new accounting standards, and are not planning to early adopt, should refer to the 2015 edition of the guide.

The guide is available for purchase from the AICPA Store in paperback or eBook formats or as an online subscription.