EBPAQC: Does your Auditor Belong?

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA Does your 401(k) or 403(b) plan auditor belong to the AICPA’s Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center (EBPAQC)? To demonstrate their commitment to quality in the performance of ERISA audits, 2,600 CPA firms, about a third of the firms that perform EBP audits, have become members of the Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality … Continued

How Can Plan Sponsors Evaluate Prospective Auditors?

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA The AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Digital Badges: How can plan sponsors evaluate prospective auditors who are equally credentialed with digital badges?  Is your auditor a Jack of all trades, but a master of none? As the results of the DOL studies on audit quality shift the industry focus to the qualifications of employee … Continued

How Can Auditors NOT be Responsible for the Financial Statements?

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA What Auditors Don’t Do In our previous blog, Testing the work of a specialist in a retirement plan audit: how much expertise does the financial statement auditor need?, I explained that auditors cannot be expected to perform or completely re-perform the duties of other professionals, like the actuary, ERISA attorney, third-party administrator, and … Continued

How much expertise does my auditor need?

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA Testing the work of a specialist in a retirement plan audit: How much expertise does the financial statement auditor need?   Service providers to the employee benefit plan (EBP) industry are often highly intelligent people that talk in “code”: Internal Revenue Code and ERISA Regulation sections. The legislation that regulates retirement plans encompasses … Continued

401k Auditor - Large Plan 401k Auditor

Tips and Traps of Compensation: Part I

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA UPDATED 7/11/19 Tips and Traps of Compensation: Part I – The Trouble with True-Ups or Lack of True-Ups When 401(k) and 403(b) plans provide that the match contribution is calculated annually, but administratively, the deposit is done on a payroll by payroll basis, it is important for the plan sponsor to understand and … Continued

Are Employer Matching Contributions for Student Loan Repayments Allowed?

Posted by Tyler Starr, CPA The IRS issued a private ruling on August 17, 2018, to allow an unnamed company to implement a new type of benefit for employees with student loan debt who were eligible to participate in its 401(k) plan. Prior to the private ruling, the company offered a 5% match contribution if employees contributed at least 2% … Continued

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What is the Effect of Prohibited Transactions on the EBP Audit Opinion?

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA The Truth Will Set You Free, but First, It Will Make You Miserable   When it comes to reporting prohibited transactions (PT) with parties-in-interest, it’s better to come clean, confess, and report on the supplementary schedules to the audited financial statements than to deny any wrongdoing. Withholding information results in inaccurate supplementary schedules, … Continued

Large 401k Plan auditor

The New EBP Audit Standard: Is Making Old Rules New Again Effective?

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA A new auditing standard (expected to be issued in 2019), Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements of Employee Benefit Plans Subject to ERISA (“Audit Standard” or “EBP SAS”) would be effective for audits performed starting in 2021 for plans with financial statement periods ending on or after December 15, 2020. Early … Continued

Large 401k Plan auditor

How will the new audit standard affect plan sponsors? – The Engagement Letter

Posted by Maria Hurd, CPA, RPA Updated May 22, 2019 First Things First: The Engagement Letter   The new audit standard, Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements of Employee Benefit Plans Subject to ERISA, effective for plan years ending on or after December 15, 2020, will require certain management representations as a pre-condition for engagement acceptance. Specifically, auditors … Continued