While an independent auditor is a valuable resource, it is important that you understand that the responsibility for investment valuation and disclosure remains with you. Hiring an auditor to perform an audit — whether full scope or limited scope — does not relieve you of your responsibility for the completeness and accuracy of the plan’s investment information reported in the Form 5500 and the financial statements.
An independent auditor may be a good resource to consult about the adequacy of valuation techniques and the related financial statement disclosures, but they cannot make the determination regarding the valuation inputs (Level I, II, or III).
Department of Labor (DOL) and AICPA auditor independence rules restrict what non-audit services auditors can perform for a plan for which they perform the annual financial statement audit.
Your plan auditor may provide advice, research materials, and recommendations to assist you in making decisions about the adequacy of your investment valuations and of the related disclosures. They may also assist you in establishing internal controls surrounding your investment valuations. Your auditor may be able to provide some assistance with the financial statement preparation, unless they are prevented from doing so under SEC independence rules for Form 11-K filers.