Performing audits of employee benefit plans requires expertise not found in many accounting firms.
It’s never too early to begin preparing for an audit of your company’s retirement plan. However, companies are required to have an audit of their employee retirement plans and have it submitted with the Form 5500 by October 15th, so don’t delay.
Audits of financial statements of employee benefit plans must be performed not only in accordance with professional auditing standards, but in accordance with the Federal guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Labor under ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act).
Generally, federal law requires employee benefit plans with 100 or more participants as defined by ERISA to have audited financial statements attached to their Form 5500 filings. Smaller plans may also need to have an audit if they do not meet certain conditions exempting them from the audit requirement.
Employers often fail to recognize when they reach an audit threshold, and the consequences of not filing can be severe. Errors commonly detected through audits of financial statements of benefit plans include miscounting “eligible” participants who are “obtaining and maintaining benefits,” differentiating between 100 employees and 100 participants, and watching the “80-120 Participant Rule.”
At E. Cohen and Company, CPAs, we are committed to achieving the highest quality audit possible. We understand the complexity of performing employee benefit plan audits and that’s why we have a dedicated senior team of auditors that possess the specialized knowledge and experience to help ensure compliance with the appropriate standards and changes in regulations that may impact your firm’s employee benefit plan audit.
Our Quality Commitment
As a member of the American Institute of CPAs’ Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center, we are committed to adhering to the highest quality standards by voluntarily agreeing to the Center membership requirements, which include designating a partner responsible for our employee benefit plan audit practice, establishing quality control programs, performing annual internal inspection procedures, and making our peer review report findings publicly available.
One of many advantages to choosing E. Cohen and Company, CPAs as your Employee Benefit Plan Audit Specialist is our low, reasonable fees, which can be up to one-third less than the national firms. In addition, we fully understand the compliance rules, including the “80 to 120 Participant Rule” and the advantages of performing a limited scope audit rather than a full scope audit. You can be confident that your plan’s required financial reporting to the Department of Labor will be done in accordance with the law, and that our fixed-fee engagements will guarantee no fee surprises.
At E. Cohen and Company, CPAs, we will never offer you a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, you will receive personal attention and a forward-looking strategy that works for you and your business. We have consistently maintained high staff retention rates of over 95%, which we contend is a strong indicator of service quality. Our low staff turnover rate provides clients with continuity from one year to the next, so we can focus our efforts on adding value to your organization.
Employee Benefit Plan Audit Services
Our employee benefit plan audit services include:
- 401k plan audits, including limited and full scope audits
- 403b plan audits for not-for-profit organizations, including limited and full scope audits
- Defined benefit plan audits, including limited and full scope audits
- Employee stock ownership plan audits
- Preparation of Form 5500
We perform these employee benefit plan services for our audit and tax clients, as well as clients of other firms that do not have the necessary expertise.
Put our experienced and qualified professionals to work for you!