Employee Benefit Plan Audits
An audit of an employee benefit plan, or EBD, involves the examination of financial statements provided by a third party to the DOL, plan management and plan participants. The primary focus of an EBP audit is to accurately gauge the ability of the plan to cover current and future benefits and payments.
Your company's benefit plan generally requires an audit if you employ more than 100 eligible participants. An eligible participant is an employee of your company who meets plan eligibility requirements at the beginning of the plan year.
Governmental audits include financial statement audits performed under Government Auditing Standards on entities such as states, local governments, not-for-profit organizations, institutions of higher education, and certain for-profit organizations.
Government auditing is the objective, systematic, professional and independent examination of financial, administrative and other operations of a public entity made subsequently to their execution for the purpose of evaluating and verifying them, presenting a report containing explanatory comments on audit findings.
The objective of government auditing is to assess the performance of public accountability, which means to evaluate the attainment of administrative objectives so that government agencies can provide services to citizens.
A compliance audit is a review performed to verify an enterprise's adherence to regulatory guidelines. Audit reports evaluate the strength and comprehensiveness of an organization's compliance preparations, security policies, user access controls, and risk management procedures.
For example, a compliance audit could be issued to make sure a textile mill is following the EPA (or Environmental Protection Act) guidelines for disposing waste. The EPA could send someone from their business, or they could hire a third party to assess the mill and send in the results.
Compliance auditing is primarily used to evaluate whether a company is following external regulations, but it can also be used at a corporate level.
An agreed-upon procedure, or AUP, is a standard a company or client outlines when it hires accountants to perform an audit on a specific test or business process. The procedures, which are known as audit standards, are designed and agreed upon by an entity conducting the audit, as well as any relevant third parties.
Examples of AUP engagements, both on financial and non-financial information, include:
Due diligence when buying or selling a business.
- Verifying cash balances
- Checking security balances
- Income tax provisions
Financial Report Preparation
Information from your accounting journal and your general ledger is used in the preparation of your business's financial statement. The financial statements are comprised of the income statement, the statement of retained earnings, the balance sheet, and the statement of cash flows.
The income statement is prepared after all adjusted entries are made in the general journal, all journal entries have been posted to the general ledger, the general ledger accounts have been footed to arrive at the period end totals, and an adjusted trial balance has been prepared from the general ledger totals.
Statutory & International Audit
A statutory audit is a legally required review of the accuracy of a company's or government's financial statements and records.
Currently, International Standards on Auditing have 36 and 1 Quality Control Standard: ISA 200: Overall Objectives of the Independent Auditor and the Conduct of an Audit in Accordance with International Standards on Auditing. ISA 210: Agreeing the Terms of Audit Engagements.
An attestation is a type of audit that provides an opinion. Moreover, it is the act of witnessing the signing of a formal document and then also signing it to verify that it was properly signed by those bound by its contents.
In essence, an attestation is a legal acknowledgment of the authenticity of a document and a verification that proper processes were followed.
Attestations are generally found in wills and trusts.
Internal Control Audits
Internal controls are the mechanisms, rules, and procedures implemented by a company to ensure the integrity of financial and accounting information, promote accountability, and to prevent fraud. An internal audit checks a company's internal controls, corporate governance, and accounting processes.
The purpose of an internal audit is to provide independent assurance that an organization's risk management, governance and internal control processes are operating effectively.
During an accounting consultation, the accountant advises businesses on financial decisions and their accounting systems. As part of an accounting consultation, accountants will make sure business leaders stay knowledgeable about any changes in tax laws and financial reporting requirements, which ensures compliance with federal laws.
Financial Due Diligence
Due diligence involves an investigation, audit, or review performed by accountants to confirm facts or details of a matter under consideration. In the financial realm, due diligence requires an examination of financial records before entering into a proposed transaction with another party.
Audit Committee Services
The primary purpose of a company's audit committee is to provide oversight of the financial reporting process, the audit process, the company's system of internal controls, and compliance with laws and regulations.
The role of the audit committee is as follows:
- Oversight of financial reporting and related internal controls
- Review of filings and earnings releases
- Risk oversight
- Oversight of the independent auditor
- Ethics and compliance
- Oversight of internal audit
- Other interactions with management and the board
- Audit committee external communications
Regulatory Consulting Services
These services typically include: identification of applicable requirements, which encompasses regulatory requirements, market and customer drivers, etc.
This is the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which is a Cabinet department in the executive branch of the U.S. federal government.
This is the Environmental Protection Agency, which is an independent executive agency of the U. S. federal government tasked with environmental protection matters.