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Time-Saving SAS 70 Audit Report Now Available to ESOP Sponsors

The Principal Financial Group offers service to ensure efficient plan operations

March 3, 2011 (Des Moines, IA) - For many sponsors of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), the audit process can be time-consuming and costly. To help lighten the administrative burdens, the Principal Financial Group® has obtained an independent audit opinion issued according to Statement of Auditing Standards No. 70 (also known as SAS 70) for the processes they perform for public and private ESOP clients.

The Principal® is now one of the only plan service providers to obtain SAS 70 audits for all four core retirement plan types: defined contribution, defined benefit, non-qualified 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.

“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 Principal. “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. These regulations require ESOP sponsors to determine if processes for generating financial statements can consistently produce accurate information. This includes performing due diligence reviews on processes performed by service providers like The Principal.

The Principal uses a national accounting firm to conduct the SAS 70 audit. That independent process gives plan sponsors even more assurance of accuracy.
“The Principal is continually focused on finding ways to help ease the administrative burden for all our clients,” says Mohs.

To learn more about ESOP services from The Principal, visit http://www.principal.com/esop.

For more news and insights from The Principal, connect with us on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/ThePrincipal.

About the Principal Financial Group

The Principal Financial Group® (The Principal ®)[1] is a leader in offering businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services, including retirement and investment services, life and health insurance, and banking through its diverse family of financial services companies. A member of the Fortune 500, the Principal Financial Group has $318.8 billion in assets under management[2] and serves some 19.1 million customers worldwide from offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and the United States. Principal Financial Group, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PFG.

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[1]
"The Principal Financial Group" and "The Principal" are registered service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a member of the Principal Financial Group.
[2]
As of Dec. 31, 2010.

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