Principal Gets Auditor Opinion for ESOP Services

The Principal Financial Group obtained an independent audit addressing its procedures for public and private employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) clients.

The Principal requested the audit according to the Statement of Auditing Standards No. 70 (SAS 70). The Principal says it has the SAS 70 audits for all four core retirement plan types: defined contribution, defined benefit, nonqualified, and both public and private ESOP plans.

The SAS 70 audit report gives ESOP auditors easy access to information they need about the processes The Principal has in place. In turn, this helps ESOP sponsors ensure the efficiency of their plan operations, the company said.

“By streamlining the audit process, the SAS 70 audit can reduce ESOP sponsors’ costs and gives an added layer of assurance and accuracy,” says Jacque Mohs, vice president of retirement and investor services. “The SAS 70 audit can also help reduce the number of questions ESOP sponsors receive from their auditor.”

In addition to streamlining the audit process, the SAS 70 audit can also help ESOP sponsors comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, The Principal said. These regulations require ESOP sponsors to determine if processes for generating financial statements can consistently produce accurate information.