New audit standards for ERISA audits and other information in annual reports (SAS 136, 137)

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Two more audit standards have been issued by the Auditing Standards Board addressing ERISA audits and other information in an annual report:

  • SAS 136Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements of Employee Benefit Plans Subject to ERISA
  • SAS 137The Auditor’s Responsibilities Relating to Other Information Included in Annual Reports.

SAS 136 creates a new section, AU-C 703, to hold the audit requirements and revised reporting for pension audits. Specific additional steps will be required. New reporting will go in place for ERISA audits.

SAS 136 is 110 pages long.

SAS 137 replaces SAS 118 and amends five other SASs. It will be found in AU-C 720. This addresses what procedures an auditor should take regarding financial information found in an annual report which is outside the audited financial statements.

SAS 137 is 100 pages long.

Both of the SASs are effective for financial statements with reporting periods ending after December 20, 2020. For most of us, that will be audits of December 31, 2020 financial statements, performed starting in early 2021.

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