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Best Practices: How to Prep for an Employee Benefit Plan Audit

Posted by Carlo Berlingieri on Mar 12, 2020 8:00:00 AM

As with every spring, you are tasked to prepare for your year-end employee benefit plan audit. It seems that our to-do lists at work are longer and longer, so we have compiled an employee benefit plan audit guide to help you prepare for the audit and make it seamless.

7 Ways to Make Employee Benefit Plan Audit Prep Run Smoothly

1. Meet with auditors early in the year to discuss expectations, goals, new reporting requirements, and timing of the engagement that works with your schedule. In addition, you can discuss the staffing on the engagement to fit the needs of your plan.

2. Prepare schedules or accumulate data during the year that is needed for the year-end employee benefit plan audit (census files, internal control summaries, etc.).

3. Ask for an assistance letter. There are a number of audit steps that can be completed well before your audit starts. Review of internal controls, sampling, and even financial statement preparation can be performed well ahead of your employee benefit plan audit.

4. Any new investments, change in trustees or third-party administrators, or adding new employee groups to be eligible for your plan? Bring the changes up early in the audit process so it’s not a surprise when the audit starts.

5. Let your auditors know what concerns you have about your plan. They can adjust their audit to focus on areas of your concern and, at the end of the audit, you can review with them their recommendations for internal control improvements.

6. Hold frequent meetings with your internal team and the auditors during and after the audit fieldwork is completed. These meetings should address any open requirements that will be needed to finalize the audit.

7. Have a debriefing meeting as soon as the report has been issued final and the filing requirements have been satisfied. What went well? What needs to be improved?

Acquiring Success With an Employee Benefit Plan Audit

By following the employee benefit plan audit guide above, you can better manage your plan audit so that you can spend more time focusing on managing your plans.

In this case study, you will learn how Meaden & Moore’s benefit plan advising and auditing helped a client meet their specified investment goals by ensuring compliance with plan documents and regulatory requirements. If you have any specific questions about your plan that you’d like to discuss with one of our employee benefit professionals, please feel free to contact us.

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Topics: Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing

Carlo Berlingieri

Carlo Berlingieri

Carlo Berlingieri, with over 20 years of experience, is a Vice President in the Assurance and Employee Benefit Plan Groups.