United States

DOL communicates importance of audit quality


The Chief Accountant of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently sent an email message to all plan administrators stressing the importance of a quality benefit plan audit and reiterating the plan sponsor’s responsibility to engage a qualified auditor. This message references a May 2015 report, Assessing the Quality of Employee Benefit Plan Audits, which summarizes the results of a DOL study of 400 plan audits. Our firm was not part of this particular study, and therefore was not part of its reported results. The DOL’s recent message encourages plan administrators to consider a number of factors when selecting an audit firm that possesses the requisite knowledge of plan audit requirements and expertise to perform an audit in accordance with professional auditing standards. 

RSM US LLP audits more than 2,000 employee benefit plans annually, including defined benefit and defined contribution plans (401(k), 403(b), money purchase, profit sharing and employee stock ownership plans), and health and welfare plans. Our benefit plan practice is routinely subjected to internal, peer review and regulatory inspections. Our benefit plan audit policies are designed to comply with professional standards and with AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center (EBPAQC) membership requirements. In accordance with EBPAQC requirements, we require our benefit plan auditors to annually complete approximately three or more hours (totaling at minimum eight hours every three years) of continuing professional education focused on employee-benefit-plan-related professional standards and regulations. We also provide annual specialized training for our staff-level professionals working in the benefit plan practice. Our benefit plan professionals would be pleased to discuss any questions plan administrators have regarding our knowledge and experience in performing employee benefit plan audits in accordance with professional auditing standards.