EBPAQC Alert No. 300 


    AICPA
     
    ESOP Primer; Member Discussion Forum Contest; EBPAQC Resources; Technical Assistance; Membership Dues
           
      AICPA
    May 21, 2013
    EBPAQC Alert #300
     
     
    In This Alert
       
    New ESOP Primer
    Member-to-Member Online Forum Contest
    Audit Resources
    EBP Audit & Accounting Resources at the AICPA Store
    Technical Assistance
    Center Membership Dues
    Additional Resources
       
    EAlerts (archived)
    Live Forum webinars (archived)
    Resource Centers
    Tools
    EBP Products at the AICPA Store
    Stay Informed
       
    We welcome any suggestions or questions - please send them by e-mail at EBPAQC@aicpa.org.
       
    If you do not wish to receive e-mails from the Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center, please e-mail us at EBPAQC@aicpa.org.

    Members of the Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center (EBPAQC) may only reproduce and distribute EBPAQC EAlerts internally within the firm to other Center member firm personnel as part of the firms' professional services. For information about permission to copy any part of these documents for redistribution or inclusion in other work, please click on the copyright notice at the bottom of the page or phone the AICPA copyright permission hotline (919) 402-4031.
     
    Dear Center Members
     
    New ESOP Primer
    The EBPAQC has developed a new primer to provide Center members with a general understanding of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). This primer discusses ESOP attributes and types of ESOPs, operations and recordkeeping, leveraged ESOPs, tax benefits and related compliance requirements, prohibited transactions exemptions, valuation of employer securities and accounting and auditing resources. Click here to access the ESOP primer.

    Members should be aware that recent DOL reviews of ESOPs have found several areas of common deficiencies, including the failure to identify the valuation of employer stock in the risk assessment; failure to review the work of the appraiser in a full scope audit; failure to obtain and review documentation of stock purchases; no testing of the release of shares from the suspense account; inadequate or no audit work performed on testing benefit payments; and inadequate or no audit work performed on testing party-In-Interest transactions.

    The EBPAQC Member-to-Member Discussion Forum has added a new forum topic area on ESOPs. Members are encouraged to visit the ESOP forum to share your views, experiences and questions. Click here to enter the Forum.
     
    Member-to-Member Online Forum Contest
    Check out the EBPAQC Member-to-Member Online Forum and find out what the current member "buzz" is in EBP auditing. The Forum is easy to use and can provide you with a wealth of information and the opportunity to share best practices and discuss issues with other member firms. Use the EBPAQC Online Forum by July 31, 2013 for a chance to win a free EBP Conference registration or a $200 gift certificate! See details below.

    Click here to enter the Forum

    The Forum has over 3,500 registered users and over 2,000 topics in the following eight areas:
      • General EBP Audit Discussion
      • ASC 820 Fair Value Implementation
      • Multiemployer Plans
      • ESOPs
      • 403(b) Plans
      • Form 11-Ks
      • Form 5500 Reporting
      • Tax and Compliance
    You can search for specific topics by clicking on "Search" located at the top right-hand corner of the Forum webpage.

    If you participate on the EBPAQC Forum by July 31st you will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win two exciting prizes:
      • Help a member by responding to a member posting on the Center Member-to-Member Forum and you will be automatically entered for a chance to win a free registration for the December 12-13, 2013 AICPA Employee Benefit Plans Accounting, Auditing and Regulatory Update Conference in Washington, D.C.
      • Post a new discussion topic on the Forum and you will be automatically entered to win a $200 gift card
    Participation in the EBPAQC Member-to-Member Forum this EBP audit season can help keep you informed of the latest employee benefit plan practice issues. The Forum is available exclusively to EBPAQC firm members to network; exchange information, share best practices, and discuss issues with other member firms.

    Center members are encouraged to regularly visit the forum to learn what other members are "talking" about and share your views, experiences and questions to help build a support group among peers that you can call on when you encounter problems with your EBP audits. The forum works best when people share information. Thank you to all who have responded to postings and helped other members in the Forum!
    Audit Resources

    As a member of the Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center you have access to many valuable resources and tools to help you with your EBP audits. These include the EBPAQC web site, EAlerts, Live Forum CPE Webinar Events, Online Member-to-Member Discussion Forum, Resource Centers, Plan Advisories, Topix Primers and much more.

    The EBPAQC web site includes various resources and tools, including archived EAlerts, and member webinars, resource centers, checklists, articles, and other tools. Click here for a summary of the various tools and resources you can find on the EBPAQC website.

    The EBPAQC has many tools and resources to help you market your EBP audit practice; respond to request for proposals; prepare for the audit season; conduct fraud brainstorm sessions; evaluate and document SOC 1sm reports; help your clients understand their responsibilities for internal controls, monitoring service providers and preparing financial statements and more. The Center has also prepared a summary of common EBP audit deficiencies that summarizes the deficiencies found in EBP audits by the DOL and the AICPA Peer Review program.

    EBP Audit & Accounting Resources at the AICPA Store
    The AICPA has many resources to help you perform your EBP audits including publications, conferences and webinars. Click here to see the Employee Benefit Plan Audit & Accounting Resources at the AICPA Store.
    Technical Assistance
    If you need to research a technical accounting or auditing issue, many times the answer can be found by consulting the AICPA Audit and Accounting Guide, Employee Benefit Plans the AICPA Audit Risk Alert, Employee Benefit Plans Industry Developments, and the other EBPAQC and AICPA resources.

    The EBPAQC Online Member-to-Member Forum also allows you to search for topics and non-authoritative replies, or post a new topic for your colleagues to share their experience and best practices.

    If after consulting the above resources you still cannot find answers to your accounting and auditing technical question, contact the AICPA's Accounting and Auditing Technical Hotline by submitting your question electronically using the Technical Inquiry Form (accessible through the link below) or by calling the Technical Hotline at 1-877-242-7212.

    Click here for AICPA Technical A & A Hotline Inquiry Form

    For AICPA ethics or independence issues access the AICPA Professional Ethics Hotline by calling (888) 777-7077, menu option #5, followed by menu option #2, or e-mail at ethics@aicpa.org.
    Center Membership Dues
    Effective August 1, 2013, membership dues for the AICPA Audit Quality Centers will increase. Dues will continue to be based on the number of CPAs in the firm, and assessed annually as of the firm's enrollment anniversary date. Annual dues will be $185 for firms with fewer than 10 CPAs; $290 for firms with between 10 and 49 CPAs; $575 for firms with between 50 and 99 CPAs; $1,750 for firms with between 100 and 499 CPAs; and $5,750 for firms between 500 and 3,000 CPAs. Thank you for your commitment to audit quality and membership in the EBPAQC.
    *   *   *   *   *
    Sincerely,
    AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center
     

     
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