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AICPA provides Department of Labor with comments on auditor independence rules.

The AICPA recently commented on the Department of Labor's request for information (RFI) concerning the advisability of amending Interpretive Bulletin 75-9 relating to guidelines on independence of accountants retained by employee benefit plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. The AICPA supported the DOL's efforts to modernize its rules, noting there have been significant changes in the audit profession and the employee benefit plan environment over the past 30 years since the DOL issued Interpretive Bulletin 75-9.

Specifically, the AICPA recommended the DOL adopt an approach to establishing independence rules and guidelines that is based on a comprehensive framework and set of risk-based principles, and establish a process to ensure that such independence rules and guidelines continue to be interpreted and updated as may become necessary. The AICPA also encouraged the DOL to incorporate the Institute's independence rules and conceptual framework as the foundation for its independence rules for ERISA audits. AICPA member firms audit the vast majority of the over 70,000 plans required to have an annual audit under ERISA. All AICPA member firms that audit ERISA plans must comply with the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct including the independence rules therein, as well as the Department's independence rules. The AICPA comment letter is available from the Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center Web site at www.aicpa.org/ebpaqc (News and Other Communications).
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Title Annotation:regulatory matters
Publication:CPA Letter
Date:Feb 1, 2007
Words:230
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