Employee Benefit Plans – What You Should Know

InsightsTax News

The Department of Labor (DOL) emailed a notice regarding auditor selection on November 16, 2015, to all plan administrators required to submit an annual audit of their employee benefit plan(s) with the Form 5500 filing. The email, A Message from the U.S. Department of Labor – The Importance of a Quality Benefit Plan Audit sent by PlanForAuditQuality – EBSA, stresses the importance of receiving a quality audit from an experienced CPA firm.

The communication is a follow-up to a report, Assessing the Quality of Employee Benefit Plan Audits, issued by the DOL in May 2015. The report summarized the findings of a study performed by the DOL on audit quality. The DOL selected a sample of 400 plan audits from a population of 81,162 Form 5500 filings for 2011 in which an accountant’s report was included. The audits were performed by 7,330 different CPA firms.

The study concluded that firms who perform the least number of benefit plan audits tend to have the greatest incident of audit deficiencies. The DOL attributes this to the lack of knowledge of specialized considerations in benefit plan audits by firms who do not devote resources to employee benefit plan training, specialization, and education.

Our Experience

At Draffin & Tucker, LLP, we understand the DOL’s concerns. We believe that providing high quality services requires a high degree of specialization and concentration. Many years ago we established a benefit plan group of audit partners, managers, supervisors, seniors, and associates who:

  • Have more than 20 years of experience providing benefit plan services to our clients.
  • Currently audit a significant number of defined contribution and defined benefit plans.

As a result of this concentration, we are well qualified in dealing with the regulatory and compliance issues that may affect your plan in today’s changing environment.

Our Commitment to Quality

Our firm is committed to ensuring that our audit personnel are well trained to deliver employee benefit plan services. Our partners and staff stay abreast of current developments in all areas of accounting, auditing and tax by affiliations with professional organizations and by participation in conferences, seminars, and various meetings on both a national and regional level.

These commitments translate into a highly competent team of professionals who are knowledgeable in the unique requirements of quality employee benefit plan services and ensure that we deliver the reliable, accurate information you need to prepare your plan’s annual report and confidently manage your plan.

As you begin planning to meet your filing requirements in 2016, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss our services. For more information, please do not hesitate to call me at (229) 883-7878 or send me an email at wsternenberg@draffin-tucker.com.

(For a PDF of the full letter, please click here.)