Course Details

Employee Benefit Plan Audit Peer Reviews

Webinar: ID# 1015312
Recorded CD or On-Demand
About This Course:
Firms that audit employee benefit plans must give careful attention to preparing for a peer review and anticipating the reviewer’s concerns about how they handle participant data, investments, fees, contributions and other aspects of the plan. The plan audit group’s reputation is at stake during these reviews.

Peer reviewers routinely find substandard risk assessment procedures, failures to test investment transactions or timely remittance of employee contributions, and other problems in reviewing benefit plan audits. Plan audit groups often struggle to provide acceptable documentation of internal controls.

Experiences from veteran employee benefit plan advisors and auditors will help your firm evaluate the effectiveness of its peer review preparation and proactively address noncompliance issues that commonly arise during the inspection.

Listen as our panel of seasoned accounting professionals offers best practices for your firm to prepare for its next employee benefits plan audit peer review.

  1. Preparing for the peer review

    • DOL emphasis on deficiencies
    • Unique reporting requirements
    • How to structure the peer review

  2. Issues with documentation

    • Written audit programs
    • System of quality controls
    • Inspection requirements and considerations

  3. Areas of common errors and deficiencies

    • Common pitfalls with defined contribution plans
    • Common pitfalls with defined benefit plans

  4. Approach to the review team

The panel will explore these and other critical topics:
  • Standards and guidance to be followed: General AICPA peer review standards and specific checklists, interpretations and alerts
  • Common audit deficiencies: Areas being targeted in participant data, investments, contributions, plan obligations and elsewhere
  • Documentation mandates: Acceptable written audit programs and internal control documentation
  • Proactive measures: Logical steps to take now to handle potential noncompliance before the next peer review
Learning Objectives:

Upon completing this seminar, you will have a better understanding of current reviewer red flags in peer reviews of employee benefit audit practices, and you will be better prepared heading into your next peer review.


Brian C. Hubbell, Principal
Hubbell Consulting, Charlotte, N.C.
Mr. Hubbell has over 30 years of experience exclusively in the field of employer sponsored retirement plans. He began his career in the Pension Investment Division of Mutual of New York, and in 1985, he joined Findley Davies where he spent over 20 years. In 2006, he founded Hubbell Consulting, LLC to establish a firm dedicated to corporate retirement plan consulting, including Investment Counsel, Plan Compliance/Design, and Employee Retirement Outcomes.

Jessie Kanter, Manager of Quality Assurance
BlumShapiro, Providence, R.I.
Ms. Kanter has more than 10 years of accounting experience, including audit and review services for privately held companies in various industries.

Susan J. Peirce, Principal
Apple Growth Partners, Akron, Ohio
Ms. Pierce leads the firm’s employee benefits audit and specialty services team. In addition to her audit work, she provides consulting services to business owners and professionals on tax and accounting strategies, with a special emphasis on benefit plan services. Her expertise includes a focus on qualified retirement plans and related design, compliance, non-discrimination testing, distribution and reporting issues.

Tricia A. Van Vliet, Senior Audit Manager
Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Ms. Van Vliet has nearly 20 years of experience with national public accounting firms where she developed her specializations in the areas of ERISA financial reporting and investment securities. She recently joined the firm after completing 8 years as a director in the national audit and quality control departments of a national firm. As a lead technical resource, she developed audit and accounting guidance, resources and training programs and was often consulted by audit engagement teams, smaller accounting firms as well as client personnel.

Continuing Education Credits Available

This program has been approved for 2.0 CPE hours through Strafford Publications. CPE Credit is available only for the LIVE webcast. Recorded versions do not qualify for credit.

Strafford is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit.


To obtain CPE credit, attendees must participate in the live event, return an Official Record of Attendance to Strafford affirming their participation (including the CPE code announced during the program), and pay a processing fee of $35 per person.

Credit Confirmation

Strafford will mail a certificate of credit within approximately 2 weeks of receiving an attendee's completed Official Record of Attendance—provided all required conditions have been satisfied.


Handout materials and the phone number for live presentations are made available to you 1 day prior to the event via email from the presenter. Copies of the presentations are included with recorded versions.

If you order a recorded version of the webinar, CD's will be mailed out approximately 10 days after the live event. Shipping is included in the price of recorded versions.
Employee Benefit Plan Audit Peer Reviews
or via CD or On-Demand
Course Details
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