Year: 2015

AU Section 315 – Communications Between Predecessor and Successor Auditors

September 24, 2015

When an auditor is considering accepting an engagement to audit financial statements and/or after a new auditor has been engaged to audit financial statements that have been audited by another firm in previous years,

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Auditors’ Tests of Beginning Balances When a Small Plan Becomes a Large Plan

August 27, 2015

Contrary to popular belief, the audit procedures for a first-time audit of a previously small plan are not limited to the retirement plan’s financial activity for the year under audit.

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The Special 15-Year 403(b) Catch-Up Contribution: How does it really work?

August 06, 2015

The amount available under the 15-year catch-up provision is based on the number of years of service and the total contributions previously made.

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The Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program – How to File an Application

July 23, 2015

In my previous blog, “The Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program – Overview”, I discussed the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFCP).

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The Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program – Overview

July 07, 2015

By filing through the VFCP, a plan sponsor will receive a no-action letter from the EBSA indicating to the plan that the EBSA will not take civil action against the plan sponsor with regard to this specific transaction in the submission. It is also important to note that there is no application fee to file through the VFCP.

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Death, Taxes and Plan Errors

June 10, 2015

In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes, and retirement plan operational errors. Two decades of plan audits have shown time and time again that even the most accurate plan sponsor is not immune from making one of the common errors.

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A Plan Sponsor’s Guide to Assessing the Qualifications of Retirement Plan Auditors

June 10, 2015

The DOL has released the report on its fourth study of audit quality. Revealing a shocking turn for the worse, 39% of the plan audits in the sample did not comply with professional audit standards, up from 33% in the 2004 study, 19% in 1997 study, and 23% in the 1988 study.

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DOL Audit Quality Study and Recommendations for Improvement

June 02, 2015

The Department of Labor (DOL) released its report on employee benefit plan audits (Assessing the Quality of Employee Benefit Plan Audits) on May 28, 2015. As I discussed in my last blog, DOL Audit Quality Study: Employee Benefit Plan Auditors Are not Making the Grade, the report is not favorable to auditors. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is making an effort to address these quality issues through its Enhancing Audit Quality initiative.

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DOL Audit Quality Study: Employee Benefit Plan Auditors Are not Making the Grade

May 27, 2015

At last week’s American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Employee Benefit Plan (EBP) Conference, the Department of Labor (DOL) compared auditing retirement plans to brain surgery. The analogy was meant to indicate that a patient would not seek out a general practitioner to perform brain surgery, due to the highly complex nature of the service and the lack of experience the general medical practitioner would have at performing the service.

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One 60-Day IRA Rollover Per Year Is The Final Answer

March 18, 2015

Although the Internal Revenue Code trumps IRS Publications, practitioners tend to use the Publications as the initial resource when handling day-to-day tax issues.

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Belfint Lyons Shuman is a Certified Public Accounting (CPA) firm that audits Defined contribution plans (profit-sharing, 401(k), 403(b) , 401(a), 457(b))), and Defined benefit plans (pension and cash balance), and Health and welfare plans. We serve a variety of plan sponsors including for-profit, nonprofit, governmental, and Taft-Hartley collectively-bargained plans located in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Massachusetts, and nationally. For additional information contact us at