ensure that you have not unintentionally
violated Precepts 9 or 12), other requirements have grown in their complexity
and specificity in recent years in ways
that would make it difficult for even a
seasoned practitioner with a highly developed sense of professionalism to fulfill
A good example is Actuarial Standard
of Practice No. 41, Actuarial Communications. Almost all actuarial work products
are subject to at least some aspects of
ASOP No. 41, and yet I think it is safe to
say that it receives far less attention from
most actuaries than do the ASOPs that
apply specifically to their individual areas of practice. For this reason, I think
many actuaries would find it beneficial
to take a look at the most recent reports
they have issued and ask themselves the
following (which, in fact, is adapted directly from Section 4. 1. 3 of ASOP No. 41):
Does my report identify or state:
■ ■ the intended users of the report?
■ ■ the scope and intended purpose of the
engagement or assignment?
■ ■ the acknowledgement of qualification, as specified in the Qualification
■ ■ any cautions about risk and uncertainty (per section 3. 4. 1 of ASOP No. 41)?
■ ■ any limitations or constraints on the
use or applicability of the actuarial
findings contained within the actuarial communication (including, if
appropriate, a statement that the communication should not be relied upon
for any other purpose)?
■ ■ any conflict of interest, as described in
section 3. 4. 2 of ASOP No. 41?
■ ■ any information on which the actuary
relied that has a material impact on the
actuarial findings and for which the
actuary does not assume responsibility (see section 3. 4. 3 of ASOP No. 41)?
Another area of professionalism that
might merit such a review is data qual-
ity. In December, the Actuarial Standards
Board adopted a revised edition of Ac-
tuarial Standard of Practice No. 23, Data
Quality. While the vast majority of ac-
tuaries have a strong appreciation of
the importance of data quality in their
work, the specific actions and disclo-
sures required to do it justice have been
changed in the new edition of ASOP No.
23. It might therefore be helpful to re-
view reports issued in the near future
using a checklist constructed from the
disclosure section of the revised ASOP
(which is effective for work products is-
sued on or after April 30, 2017):
Does my report identify or state:
■ ■ the source(s) of the data used?
■ ■ any limitations on the use of the actuarial work product due to uncertainty
about the quality of the data or other
information relevant to the use of the
data (as discussed in section 3. 1 of
ASOP No. 23)?
■ ■ whether the actuary performed a review of the data and, if not, the reason
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