If your employee benefit plan is required to have an audit, one of the most important duties of the plan administrator is to hire an independent certified public accountant. Employee benefit plan audits have unique audit and reporting requirements and are different from other financial audits.
A qualified CPA with the right expertise is critical to ensure your compliance with ERISA’s reporting and fiduciary requirements. Substandard work can jeopardize plan assets and can result in significant civil penalties. In response to a recent message that was sent out to all plan administrators from the US Department of Labor, we have outlined the capabilities of our firm’s employee benefit audit team:
Does your CPA audit several Employee Benefit Plans each year, including various types?
DS+B professionals audit numerous employee benefit plans for various businesses and organizations. We have experience with Full Scope 401(k), Limited Scope 401(k) as well as full and limited scope cash balance plans (defined benefit plans).
What is the extent of specific annual training the CPA received in auditing plans?
DS+B requires any individual working on an ERISA employee benefit audit to have a minimum of 8 hours of specific (employee benefit plan) continuing education (CPE) each year. As a member of the AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center, each individual signing the audit opinion or managing a plan audit must have a minimum of 8 hours of employee benefit plan specific CPE every three (3) years, and our professionals go well beyond the minimum. Each individual also receives extensive on-the job training in addition to the CPE.
Is the CPA’s license current and applicable with the state board of accountancy?
DS+B employee benefit plan professionals are licensed in the state of Minnesota.
Has the CPA has been the subject of any prior DOL findings or investigation?
DS+B has not been subject to any prior Department of Labor findings or referrals, or has been referred to a state board of accountancy or the American Institute of CPA’s for investigation.
Has the CPA's audit work has recently been reviewed by another CPA?
In 2015, DS+B completed its latest Peer Review as required to be in compliance with AICPA Bylaws. The results were no Matters for Further Consideration (MFC), and no Findings for Further Consideration (FFC), the highest rating a firm can receive.
For more information:
Additional tips for selecting an auditor and monitoring your auditor’s work can be found at the U.S. Department of Labor’s website searching “Selecting an Auditor for Your Employee Benefit Plan,” or at: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/publications/selectinganauditor.html.
Talk to us:
DS+B is a resource to help you and your plan administrators make sense of the complex regulations. A recent study conducted by the Department of Labor found serious problems with nearly 40% of employee benefit plan audits.
A quality audit will help protect the assets and financial integrity of your Plan and help to ensure that the necessary funds will be available to pay the benefits promised to your Plan’s participants and their beneficiaries. It also helps make sure your Plan is in compliance with the law. Please contact us with your questions – we’re happy to review and discuss your specific situation.