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 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

Large 401k Plan auditor

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