By Janice Fortin, CPA, MST – Shareholder, Employee Benefit Group

The AICPA Auditing Standards Board recently voted to defer the effective date of Statements on Auditing Standards (SAS), including SAS No. 136, Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements of Employee Benefit Plans Subject to ERISA, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

About the Standard

In July 2019, the Board issued a final SAS prescribing certain performance requirements for an audit of financial statements of employee benefit plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and changes the form and content of the related auditor’s report. Aimed at improving the quality over employee benefit plans, the standard added audit requirements related to:

  • Client engagement acceptance
  • Audit risk assessment and responses, including consideration of the plan’s provisions
  • Communication of reportable findings to those charged with governance
  • Auditor’s responsibility regarding the ERISA required supplemental schedules

Effective Dates

Initially, the effective date of ERISA plan financial statements was for periods ending on or after Dec. 15, 2020. With this delay, the new effective date is for audits of financial statements for periods ending on or after Dec. 15, 2021. Early implementation is allowed as of the original effective date.

Doeren Mayhew’s employee benefit plan auditors can assist you in implementing this new standard either next year or through early adoption this year. Contact us when you are ready to get started.