A New EBP Reporting Model is in the Works
During its May 2016 meetings, the Auditing Standards Board (ASB) continued its discussion of developing a new reporting model specifically for employee benefit plans. In January 2015, the ASB formed the employee benefit plan (EBP) task force to consider a proposal to improve the quality of EBP audits by strengthening the EBP auditor’s report. The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the Department of Labor (DOL) asked the ASB to rethink the EBP auditor’s report to help auditors better understand their responsibilities and to provide users with more information about the scope of the audit. The task force and EBSA recommended changes for EBP auditor reporting is especially needed for the limited-scope audit permitted by the DOL’s rules and regulations for reporting and disclosure under ERISA.
The May 2016 discussions included the potential development of a new report on compliance matters and updating the basis for the limited scope reporting model from a disclaimer to a qualified opinion. The ASB plans to continue its discussions at the August 2016 meeting. An exposure draft of a proposed auditing standard is expected in either the fourth quarter of 2016 or the first quarter of 2017.
The discussion and background materials from the May meeting are available here.