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Defined benefit plans

About this topic

Based on the AICPA Competency Framework: Employee Benefit Plan Auditing, these learning resources are designed to enhance CPAs’ knowledge and skills necessary to perform high-quality employee benefit plan audit engagements. Use these resources to build competencies around auditing employee benefit plans and set yourself apart in the market so that clients and employers feel confident in your work and ability to conduct these audits.

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Master Trusts in Employee Benefit Plans

This primer provides a general understanding of master trusts in employee benefit plans, including definitions, types and structures, and more.

Article Plan investments & fair value Foundational

Stable Value Funds and Investment Contracts - An Overview

This document provides information about the nature and characteristics of stable value investments, the risks associated with such investments, and references to the...

Report Plan investments & fair value Foundational

How to perform high-quality EBP audits

This article describes eight things firms and practitioners can do to enable the highest quality in EBP audits.

Article Defined contribution plans Intermediate

Cash balance plans for professional practices

Understand the rules for this leading form of retirement benefit.

Article Defined benefit plans Foundational

Firm Preparedness Checklist for Employee Benefit Plan Audits

This checklist is a non-authoritative practice aid to assist member firm designated ERISA audit partners in assessing their firm's preparedness for the ERISA audit...

Tool Defined contribution plans Intermediate

Employee Benefit Plans - Parties in Interest and Prohibited Transactions

This document provides general information about employee benefit plan parties in interest and prohibited transactions under ERISA.

Report Prohibited transactions/tax considerations Foundational

Cash balance plans

This document provides information about the nature and characteristics of cash balance plans, references to the relevant accounting and auditing professional...

Report Defined benefit plans Foundational

Insurance Company Products Offered to Employee Benefit Plans

​This primer provides an overview of various types of products offered by insurance companies.

Report Plan investments & fair value Foundational

Alternative Investments in Employee Benefit Plans

This primer provides information about alternative investments held by employee benefit plans.

Report Plan investments & fair value Foundational

Professional Ethics Most Frequent Violations of Professional Standards Employee Benefit Plan Investigations

The AICPA Professional Ethics Division has compiled this list of quality issues found in its investigations of employee benefit plan audits over the last two years.

Report Defined contribution plans Foundational

Documentation of Use of a Type 2 Service Auditor’s Report in an Employee Benefit Plan Financial Statement Audit

The tool is intended to assist members in documenting procedures and findings related to controls at a service organization.

Report Internal controls/service organizations Intermediate

Performing Quality ERISA Employee Benefit Plan Audits: Firm Best Practices

Designed to assist you in identifying and implementing best practices for your firm’s ERISA employee benefit plan audit practice.

Tool Defined contribution plans Advanced