Pension Scheme Auditor Checklist Part Three: Regulatory Understanding

Pension Scheme Auditor Understanding of Current Regulations: A Comprehensive Guide

When appointing a pension scheme auditor, it’s crucial to ensure they are up-to-date with current regulations and truly understand their implications.

This is vital for maintaining compliance and financial integrity.

In this Knowledge Hub article we detail a comprehensive guide on how to verify that a potential pension scheme auditor has a solid understanding of the regulatory landscape.

Pension Scheme Auditor Understanding of Current Regulations: A Comprehensive Guide - an image to show this area with a mans hand ticking a virtual checklist graphic

Verify Industry Certifications and Credentials

First, confirm that the auditor holds industry-recognised certifications that necessitate staying current with regulations.

Key qualifications include Chartered Accountant (CA), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and other certifications specific to pension schemes or financial audits.

Additionally, ensure the auditor is a member of professional bodies like the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) or the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), as these memberships require ongoing professional education.

Review Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

Ask for documentation of the auditor’s CPD activities, including certificates of attendance, CPD logs, or transcripts from professional development courses.

Ensure that these activities are relevant to pension schemes and financial auditing, focusing on courses or seminars addressing pension regulation updates, compliance, and best practices.

Pension Scheme Auditor Understanding: Ask About Their Information Sources

Understanding where the auditor gets their regulatory updates is informatove.

Ask which publications, newsletters, or professional journals they subscribe to for updates on regulations.

Relevant sources may include updates from regulatory bodies like The Pensions Regulator in the UK, industry journals, and professional association newsletters.

Determine if the auditor participates in professional networks or forums where regulatory changes are discussed.

Assess Recent Training and Education

Request details of recent training sessions, webinars, or conferences the auditor has attended, focusing on regulatory changes in the pension industry.

Ensure that the training providers are credible, such as established professional bodies, recognised educational institutions, or leading consulting firms.

Ask Detailed Questions During Interviews

Prepare a list of questions that probe the pension auditor’s understanding and knowledge of current pension regulations. Example questions include:

  • Can you explain the most recent changes in pension scheme regulations and their implications?
  • How do you stay informed about upcoming regulatory changes?
  • Can you provide an example of how a recent regulatory change impacted your audit approach for a pension scheme?

Additionally, ask how they would apply their regulatory knowledge to specific audit scenarios to assess their practical understanding and ability to implement regulatory requirements.

Scenario-Based Evaluation

Present hypothetical scenarios involving regulatory changes and ask the auditor how they would handle these situations. For example:

  • A new regulation requires additional disclosure of investment risks for pension schemes. How would you incorporate this requirement into your audit process?

Check Past Performance and References

Contact previous clients to inquire about the auditor’s expertise in regulatory matters.

Ask specific questions about the pension scheme auditor’s understanding and knowledge. and application of current regulations.

Investigate if there have been any issues or non-compliance incidents involving the auditor’s previous work with pension schemes.

Review Regulatory Body Feedback

Reach out to relevant regulatory bodies to see if they have any feedback or records regarding the pension scheme auditor’s compliance with regulations.

Check for any public records of disciplinary actions or sanctions against the auditor related to regulatory compliance.

Evaluate Audit Tools and Methodologies

Ensure the pension scheme auditor uses up-to-date tools and methodologies that comply with current regulatory standards, including software for risk assessment, compliance tracking, and reporting.

Ask the auditor to describe their compliance framework and how it integrates regulatory requirements into the audit process.

Conclusions on Pension Scheme Auditor Understanding of Regulations

By systematically verifying these aspects, you can ensure that the chosen pension scheme auditor has the necessary regulatory understanding and knowledge, and is well-equipped to handle the complexities of auditing a pension scheme in compliance with current regulations.

Ensuring your pension scheme auditor understands the latest regulations is not just a formality but a critical step in safeguarding your scheme’s financial health and regulatory compliance.

Assure UK’s Approach to Pension Scheme Audits

Assure UK was founded in late 2012 as a dedicated and specialist pension schemes audit firm that offers pension trustees, and managers, a level of customer service they didn’t think was possible.

A Specialist Pension Scheme Auditor You Can Rely On

Regardless of the size of your pension scheme, you need everything to work like clockwork so that sign off can be achieved within seven months of your scheme’s year end.

Assure UK does that, with a hassle-free, timely, and expert service that takes the pressure off of you. Oh, and with the added benefit of fixed fees, from the outset so that you’ll have additional peace of mind.

By being a focused specialist firm in pension scheme audits our team of experts bring a depth of experience and knowledge to pension audits that few general accountancy firms can match. Making your audit with us both smooth and tailored to your needs, plus with the benefit of knowing that we have met, advised on, and dealt with all manner of risk areas.

An endorsement of our expertise in pension scheme audits, is that we are one of only four accountancy firms in the UK that are on the Pension Protection Fund’s Audit Services Panel.

For more information about our services or advice on how to improve your pension audits and assurance reporting, please connect with us on social media, sign up for our newsletter, and regularly visit our website.

Alternatively, call us on 020 7112 8300 email or book a meeting.

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