Baker Tilly Responds to U.S. Department of Labor Report Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality

Accounting firm with exemplary audit performance also reasserts importance of AICPA audit quality recommendations

CHICAGO (June 3, 2015) – Accounting and advisory firm Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP (Baker Tilly) has reiterated the necessity of improving audit quality after a May 28th United States Department of Labor (DOL) report on its inspection of 2011 employee benefit plan audits.

“The Department of Labor report casts a renewed spotlight on the stubborn problem of subpar audits,” said Christine Anderson, certified public accountant, certified information technology professional and managing partner of assurance with Baker Tilly. “The report underscores the need to use experienced and knowledgeable accounting firms that can deliver high quality employee benefit plan audits to help limit fines and ensure compliance,” she added.

Baker Tilly’s insights into the DOL and the impact on how audit quality affects employee benefit plans, plan sponsors, and administrators can be found here.

The DOL report found an extremely high deficiency rate for audits of employee benefit plans, with a rate of nearly 40 percent in examined audits. Experienced firms performed better. According to the DOL report, firms that audit the fewest benefit plans (one-99 plans audited annually) had a deficiency rate of 65* percent while firms auditing more than 750 plans had a deficiency rate of only 12 percent.

“Baker Tilly is a member of the Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center and one of the largest auditors of employee benefit plans in the country,” said Anderson. “Baker Tilly audits more than 1,200 plans annually and we take multiple steps to ensure high quality audits. We have been through DOL inspections and, for our public plans, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCOAB) inspections without major deficiencies.”

Baker Tilly strongly supports The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (AICPA) Six Point Plan to Improve Audit Quality. The firm has noted that plan sponsors and administrators have a fiduciary responsibility to plan participants, and engaging an experience firm to complete a quality audit is central to meeting that fiduciary responsibility.

With a position of leadership in the profession, Baker Tilly continues to support the AICPA’s quality programs. Baker Tilly Chief Executive Officer Tim Christen is a strong advocate for quality in his current volunteer role as vice-chairman of the AICPA.

*65% is the aggregate percent of deficiencies for the first four stratum of the report.

About Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP (bakertilly.com)

Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP (Baker Tilly) is a nationally recognized, full-service accounting and advisory firm whose specialized professionals connect with clients and their businesses through refreshing candor and clear industry insight. With approximately 2,700 employees across the United States, Baker Tilly is ranked as one of the 15 largest accounting and advisory firms in the country. Headquartered in Chicago, Baker Tilly is an independent member of Baker Tilly International, a worldwide network of independent accounting and business advisory firms in 147 countries, with 30,000 professionals. The combined worldwide revenue of independent member firms is $3.2 billion.