The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has launched an enhanced Web site for its members who audit or are interested in auditing employee benefit plans. The Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center is a firm-based, voluntary membership center designed to promote the importance of quality audits of employee benefit plans.
Employee benefit plan audits include audits of pension, health and welfare, and 401(k) plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) under the regulatory authority of the U.S. Department of Labor.
âOur goal is to provide CPA firms that audit employee benefit plans with a comprehensive online resource that offers tools and professional guidance about how to perform an audit of an employee benefit plan,â said Anita F. Baker, CPA, Chair of the AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center Executive Committee.
âThe Center is intended to make a direct statement to members of our profession about the importance of their audit performance,â said Susan Coffey, CPA, Senior Vice President-Member Quality & State Regulation. âCPA firms that join the Center demonstrate their commitment to audit quality by agreeing to, and meeting, specific Center membership requirements. They also show their dedication to sharing best practices, learning about emerging issues, and demonstrating their commitment to enhancing quality in their practices.â
The enhanced Web site for the Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center is conveniently organized around a homepage that serves as a single access point to the latest developments in employee benefit plan audits.
The Center's mission is to:
- Create a community of firms that demonstrate a commitment to employee benefit plan audit quality;
- Serve as a comprehensive resource provider for member firms;
- Provide information about the Center's activities to other employee benefit plan stakeholders; and
- Raise awareness about the importance of employee benefit plan audits.
The Center was launched in March 2004 and currently has more than 800 members. It is one of three AICPA audit quality centers. The others are the Center for Public Company Audits Firms and the Governmental Audit Quality Center.