New EBP Auditing Standards Deferred Due to COVID-19

The COVID-19 outbreak may offer one hidden benefit as we enter the Employee Benefit Plan (EBP) audit season: we’ll have plenty of time to learn about some new upcoming standards.

The AICPA Auditing Standards Board recently voted to defer the effective date of Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) No. 136, Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements of Employee Benefit Plans Subject to ERISA, until periods ending on or after December 15, 2021. The original effective date was December 15, 2020.

The standard changes several aspects of the EBP audit itself, including the limited scope terminology, engagement acceptance, risk assessment and planning, communication with those charged with governance, audit procedures and reporting. For detailed changes and further information, contact a Schneider Downs professional or click on the AICPA link below:

EBP SAS No. 136: Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements of Employee Benefit Plans Subject to ERISA.

Note that early implementation is also permitted, to allow those firms that are able to proceed with implementation as of the original effective date to do so.

In addition to the standard above, the AICPA also announced a few other standards that are deferred until periods ending on or after December 15, 2021, including:

  • No. 134, Auditor Reporting and Amendments, Including Amendments Addressing Disclosures in the Audit of Financial Statements, as amended,
  • No. 135, Omnibus Statement on Auditing Standards—2019,
  • No. 136, Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements of Employee Benefit Plans Subject to ERISA, as amended (mentioned above)
  • No. 137, The Auditor's Responsibilities Relating to Other Information Included in Annual Reports,
  • No. 138, Amendments to the Description of the Concept of Materiality,
  • No. 139, Amendments to AU-C Sections 800, 805, and 810 to Incorporate Auditor Reporting Changes From SAS No. 134; and-
  • No. 140, Amendments to AU-C Sections 725, 730, 930, 935, and 940 to Incorporate Auditor Reporting Changes From SAS Nos. 134 and 137.

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