Employee Benefit Plan Audit Services
“We Believe in being the Firm Coveted by Clients in the Markets We Serve and Employees Aspire to Work for.”—Doug Walters
Employee Benefit Plan Audit – Frequently Asked Questions”
Walters & Associates, CPAs offers a free, no obligation consultation to answer any questions you may have about audit requirements for your companies benefit plan.
What is the cost of an employee benefit plan audit (defined contribution 401(k) plan or defined benefit pension plan)?
We believe in affordable, transparent pricing with no hidden fees, so we offer a flat-rate price. The price of your audit will depend on your plan type, plan size, the assets held, and your plan’s provisions, which will be discussed during your free consultation. Our goal is to provide you with a 5-Star audit experience that delivers great value and makes your life easier.
While rare, additional fees could arise due to events such as significant plan corrections, plan mergers, changes in service providers, and availability of an investment certification. We promise to clearly communicate any additional fees to you, and we will obtain your authorization before we provide any additional services.
What are the employee benefit plan audit requirements and due dates?
Generally, a plan must be audited when it has more than 100 eligible participants on the first day of the plan year. If the plan hasn’t been audited previously, a plan must be audited when it has more than 120 eligible participants.
The audit must be completed prior to the Form 5500 filing deadline as your audited financial statements are submitted with your Form 5500. The Form 5500 filing deadline is the last day of the seventh month following your plan’s year-end, which is July 31st for calendar year plans. You may apply for an automatic extension by filing a Form 5558, which extends the due date 2 ½ months, which extends it to October 15th for calendar year plans.
How long does the employee benefit plan audit take?
The audit process takes 6-8 weeks on average; however, this range is heavily influenced by response time. We’ve completed audits in as short as 3 weeks.
If you have received a notice from the Department of Labor due to an incomplete filing and need an audit as soon as possible, we will work diligently with you to get your audit completed as soon as possible without sacrificing quality.
What information and documentation do I need to send you?
We will send you a request list at the beginning of the audit process that contains the information we need to start and successfully complete your audit. We also work with your plan’s service provider(s) to securely access information directly from them (or their site) for efficiency and to reduce the burden. Our commitment is to make your life easy!
What sets our firm apart?
- Flat fees with no hidden costs
- 100% Remote – No hassle or office disruption, and we’re licensed in most states.
- Timely – You won’t miss your regulatory deadline because of us.
- Expertise – We have devoted professionals who specialize in employee benefit plan audits.
- Quality – We don’t miss a beat. The Department of Labor has conducted audit quality studies that prove the lack of experience in the employee benefit plan audit space. The unfortunate part is that you can be penalized as a Plan Sponsor for engaging an inexperienced auditor; however, the fortunate part is if you engage us, you can rest assured that your plan audit is a quality audit.
- Solutions – If we identify any areas of non-compliance during the audit, we have solutions on how to correct them.
- Seamless – We will work directly with your plan’s service provider(s) so that you don’t have to be the middleman.
- We Deliver Legendary Service – It is a firm fundamental of ours and a promise to you. We are responsive, easy to reach, and we do the “little” things to go the extra mile.
ERISA Section 103(a)(3)(C) audit or a non-Section 103(a)(3)(C) audit?
- ERISA Section 103(a)(3)(C) Audit – Formerly called a limited scope audit, Plan management can choose to exclude from the audit certain investment information that is held and certified by a qualified institution (as long as an investment certification is available and the institution is qualified under Department of Labor rules and regulations). All other balances and transactions are subject to the same audit procedures as a non-Section 103(a)(3)(C) audit.
- Non-Section 103(a)(3)(C) Audit – Formerly called a full scope audit, this audit requires all the major account balances and transactions to be audited, including audit procedures over the investments.
What areas do you audit?
- Payroll and participant data
- Calculation of employee and employer contributions
- Deferral elections
- Participant accounts and allocation
- Participant loans, if applicable to your plan
- Benefit payments
- Timeliness of remittances of contributions
- Investment income allocation
What are the most common audit findings?
- Eligible compensation that is excluded from the calculation of participant and employer contributions.
- Untimely (and missed) remittances of participant contributions to the plan.
- The failure to update participant deferral elections, or changes to them, in the payroll system.
- Participants eligible to participate are not made aware of their eligibility or ineligible participants are participating in the plan.
- The failure to enroll automatically enrolled participants timely and the failure to auto-escalate participants.
What types of plans do you audit?
- 401(k) plans
- 403(b) plans
- Pension Plans
- Profit-sharing plans
- Savings plans
- Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)
- Health and welfare benefit plans
- SEC 11-k filings
Have more questions? Contact us today! We are here to help.