Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education

Audits of Defined Contribution Pension Plans (Emphasizing 401k Plans) (ADC)

8-Hour Program


For the beginner, employee benefit plan audits have always presented unique challenges and practice risks. This basic to intermediate course will address many of these challenges and provide the skills to:

  • Avoid the most common deficiencies identified by the DOL and peer reviewers
  • Plan a defined contribution 401(k) audit
  • Identify unique employee benefit plan (EBP) audit risks including the risk of fraud
  • Perform the level of service requested by plan
  • Perform required audit testing
  • Consider the SOC report
  • Identify and effectively document the required procedures
  • Prepare U.S. GAAP and DOL compliant financial statements


Practitioners in public accounting firms that audit defined contribution pension plans emphasizing 401(k) plans.


Participants will be able to:

  • Understand the required procedures of auditing defined contribution plans in accordance with GAAS
  • Understanding the DOL requirements
  • Identify requirements of limited scope exception
  • Identify audit risk areas including the risk due to fraud
  • Develop and perform appropriate audit testing to address the assessed audit risks
  • Link the risk assessed with the evidence accumulated
  • Communicating with those charged with governance
  • Reporting internal control deficiencies
  • Avoid mistakes and deficiencies in preparing U.S. GAAP and DOL compliant financial statements
  • Identify compliance programs available under EBSA


  • Identifying when an audit is required
  • A review of current and pending accounting and auditing standards
  • Common audit and reporting deficiencies, including those identified in the recent DOL Audit Quality Study and peer reviews
  • Unique audit planning characteristics in EBP audits
  • Difficult audit areas found in EBP engagements
  • Limited scope and full scope audit requirements
  • Resources needed for EBP audits
  • Recent changes to EBP Audit Guide
  • Financial statement reporting and disclosure requirements with examples
  • ASC 820 fair value accounting measurement, reporting and disclosure
  • Updating, performing, and documenting the risk assessment
  • Changes in Form 5500
  • Testing of participant data
  • Required contribution testing
  • Identifying related party and party-in-interest
  • Reporting prohibited transactions
  • Reporting for DOL Required Supplemental Information
  • Communication required with those charged with governance



LEVEL OF KNOWLEDGE: Basic to Intermediate


  • None; however, some experience in conducting EBP audits would be helpful


FIELD OF STUDY: Accounting & Auditing


  • Accounting: 4 hours
  • Auditing: 4 hours

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SmartPros®, A Kaplan Company and Loscalzo Institute, A Kaplan Company are 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. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.nasbaregistry.org.