Employee Benefit Plans
How We Do It
The ARB team will manage your employee benefit plan audit in an efficient, cost-effective way, with services that are customized to your specific needs. For organizations that are below the audit threshold, we can provide consulting services. We’re noticing a rise in ESOP owned companies as a succession planning tool for retiring owners. ARB’s team is well versed in this area and can provide support for their creation, maintenance and annual compliance.
TPAs play an important role and hold vital information and answers to questions so we work directly with them during our audit and consulting processes.
DOL Audit of Auditors
The Department of Labor has put significant attention on employee benefit plan auditors to ensure that the quality of their work with the aim of protecting plan participants. Our most recent DOL audit was in 2019, we received a strong positive assessment of our work with no exceptions noted. The DOL recommends that plan be audited by firms with significant ongoing employee benefit plan client base as their statistics show that audit quality is strongly correlated with the number of plans audited.
“CPA firms that were members of the AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center tended to produce audits that have fewer audit deficiencies.”
– Department of Labor’s “Assessing the Quality of the Employee Benefit Plan Audits” report, May 28, 2015.
ARB is a member of the AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center
How We’re Helping our Employee Benefit Plan Audit Clients
Increasing Plan Participation: Increasing plan participation is good for both employees and employers. We advise clients on how to increase plan participation through automatic enrollment, matching contributions, withdrawal opportunities, eligibility requirements, and more.
Plans with 100-ish Participants: Staying below the Plan Audit threshold can help save companies money, so we help business owners review their plan’s participant lists for former employees or other people who are inactive in the account to try to reduce the participant count and stave off the need for an audit.
Helping Plan Sponsors Stay Safe: The criteria for being a plan sponsor are broad, so determining whether or not you qualify isn’t always straightforward. In addition, fiduciary obligations are sweeping, and the DOL penalties are expensive, potentially at both the company and personal level. We provide quality advice to help clients avoid costly missteps.
Employee Benefit Plan Services Team Leaders
Cheri L. Walker, CPA | Managing Principal
Employee Benefit Plan Services Practice Leader
Cheri focuses on providing companies with financial accounting, tax planning and employee benefit plan audit services. She serves as Managing Principal of ARB. Cheri has participated in hundreds of employee benefit plan audits over her 30+ years of supporting clients’ plans. She has also served ESOPs since the 1990s.