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Employee Benefit Plan Audit Peer Reviews

Preparing for Risk Assessment, Control Document Inspection, and Other Peer Reviewer Concerns

Recording of a 110-minute CPE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CPE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford CPE+ Pass. Click for more information.
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Conducted on Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This course will help auditors identify issues frequently arising in peer review audits of employee benefit plans and offer best practices to address potential problems and work with reviewers.


Firms that audit employee benefit plans must pay careful attention to peer review preparation and anticipate the reviewer's concerns about handling 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, failure to properly document the procedures performed, improper reliance on SOC reports, failure to test investment transactions earnings, timely remittance of employee contributions, and other problems in reviewing benefit plan audits. Plan audit groups often struggle to assess risk adequately.

Listen as our veteran employee benefit plan advisers and auditors help you evaluate your firm's peer review preparation and proactively address noncompliance issues that often arise during inspections.



  1. Preparing for the peer review
    1. DOL emphasis on deficiencies
    2. Unique reporting requirements
    3. How to structure the peer review
  2. Issues with documentation
    1. Written audit programs
    2. System of quality controls
    3. Inspection requirements and considerations
  3. Common errors and deficiencies
    1. Common pitfalls with defined contribution plans
    2. 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 targeted in participant data, investments, contributions, plan obligations, and elsewhere
  • Documentation mandates: acceptably written audit programs and internal control documentation
  • Proactive measures: logical steps to take now to handle potential noncompliance before the next peer review


Ahsan, Sharjeel
Sharjeel Ahsan, CPA, MBA

Audit Director
McConnell & Jones

Mr. Ahsan has been instrumental in builing and leading the Firm’s Form 5500 preparation practice and has...  |  Read More

Ciminera, Christopher
Christopher Ciminera, CPA, QKA

Principal, Accounting & Auditing
Belfint Lyons & Shuman

Mr. Ciminera is a member of the firm’s Employee Benefit Plan niche in the accounting and auditing services...  |  Read More

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