How Has a New Auditing Standard Given Auditors More Flexibility in Agreed-Upon Procedures Engagements?

Posted by Tyler Starr, CPA The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (AICPA) Auditing Standards Board (ASB) issued the Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) No. 19, Agreed-Upon Procedures Engagements, in December 2019. SSAE 19 supersedes SSAE 18 AT-C section 215 of the same name and also amends certain provisions of SSAE 18 section 105, Concepts Common to All … Continued

How Do I Correct Late Salary Deferral Deposits?

Posted by Christopher J. Ciminera, CPA, QKA Update – April 29, 2020 On Wednesday, April 29, 2020 the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) also posted a Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01. In this notice, the EBSA provides relief to plan sponsors regarding the possibility of lags in deposits due to the recent COVID-19 issues which was addressed in my blog below. … Continued

What are the Administrative Procedure Changes Under the SECURE Act?

Posted by Tyler Starr, CPA In Are Retirement Savings More Secure under the SECURE Act?, we reviewed some notable changes included in Title I of the SECURE Act, which focused on expanding and preserving retirement savings. This follow-up blog will discuss other notable changes in the SECURE Act that mostly deal with changes to administrative provisions of plans. SECURE Act, … Continued

Are Tips a Trap? – (Tips and Traps of Compensation – Part V)

Posted by Tyler Starr, CPA The most common error found during the audit of an employee benefit plan is the incorrect definition of compensation being used for contribution purposes. Whether the error is related to payroll coding issues or not fully understanding the plan provisions, plan compensation can be one of the biggest traps for plan sponsors, especially when employees … 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

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