COVID-19 Update: Unsaving for Retirement in Pandemic Times

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA Every year, retirement plan audit season starts in early April, shortly after discrimination tests are complete and audit packages for the more straightforward plans become available. Human resources managers, payroll managers, and chief financial officers at the plan sponsor collaborate to provide the auditor with payroll, personnel data, and financial backup needed for … Continued

COVID-19 Update: New Rules for Hardship Distributions

Posted By Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA Our Benefit Plan Audit Team, as well as the entire BLS CPA Team, is continuously monitoring the rapidly changing landscape in an effort to provide you with updates related to legislative relief or changes that may affect you, your business, or your clients. As provisions or changes directly related to benefit plans occur, … Continued

How does the SECURE Act allow Penalty-Free Distributions from Retirement Plans for Childbirth or Adoption Expenses?

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA Updated 3.26.2020 Children are a financial hardship!!! The IRS has finally recognized it by adding a new type of penalty-free distribution from defined contribution retirement plans: the Qualified Birth or Adoption Distribution (QBOAD), effective January 1, 2020. The new provision is optional, so plan sponsors will need to amend their plans to permit … Continued

Could Inclusion of Long-Term, Part-Time Employees under the Secure Act Trigger a Financial Statement Audit?

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA Large Plans Require Financial Statement Audits Generally, plans with at least 100 participants on the first day of the plan year must engage an independent qualified public accountant to perform an audit of the plan’s financial statements. The audit report, financial statements, note disclosures, and supplementary schedules are filed as an attachment to … Continued

Tips and Traps of Compensation – Part IV

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA Inquiring minds want to know – Are the Bonuses In or Out? How Can I Withhold from a Gift Card?  It’s Not Cash! … and more … The Problem The use of an incorrect definition of compensation for contribution purposes continues to be listed as the most common error the IRS finds during … Continued

Tips and Traps of Compensation – Part III

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA Tips and Traps of Compensation: Part III – Double Jeopardy: No Match on Catch-Ups and No True-Up In our previous two blogs, The Trouble with True-Ups or Lack of True-Ups  and What’s the Catch with Administering Catch-Up Contributions, we went over the basic rules and potential pitfalls of administering true-ups and catch-ups. When … Continued

Tips and Traps of Compensation – Part II

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA Tips and Traps of Compensation: Part II – What’s the Catch with Administering Catch-Up Contributions? In the first part of our Tips and Traps of Compensation Series, we talked about The Trouble with True-Ups or Lack of True-Ups. Part II talks about administering catch-up contributions. Definition  of Catch-Up Contribution As stated on the … Continued

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