The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Audit & Accounting Guide, Employee Benefit Plans, was updated as of August 1, 2021 and recently was released. Josie Hammond, RSM’s National Director Employee Benefit Plans and chair of the AICPA Employee Benefit Plans Expert Panel, is acknowledged for her contributions to the development and review of the 2021 version of the guide. In addition, RSM audit partner Eric Carroll was the chair of a task force that was responsible for a new chapter in the guide that provides guidance regarding auditing and accounting for multiemployer plans.
This 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. The guide includes interpretive guidance for applying Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) 136, Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements of Employee Benefit Plans Subject to ERISA, including example audit procedures for performing an audit of ERISA plan financial statements. The guide also includes illustrative financial statements for the year of implementation.
The new chapter in the guide that provides guidance regarding auditing and accounting for multiemployer plans addresses many areas that are unique to multiemployer plans, such as:
- The impact of the payroll compliance function on audit risk assessment and the nature, timing and extent of related audit procedures
- The classification of dual-purpose assets used in plan operations
- The accounting for withdrawal liability receivables and reciprocal payments
- Disclosure of funded status of the plan