A New World
"Internal Revenue Code section 403(b) plans covered by Title I of ERISA now will be treated like 401(k) plans for reporting purposes. This means that large plans will need to be audited and file a report of an independent qualified public accountant." (U.S. Dept. of Labor)
"Generally, Federal law requires employee benefit plans with 100 or more participants to have an audit as part of their obligation to file an annual return/report (Form 5500 Series). 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 qualified public accountant. The sponsor of the plan is the plan administrator under the law unless another individual or entity is specifically designated to assume this responsibility." (U.S. Dept. of Labor)
We understand that not-for-profit organizations sponsor 403(b) retirement plans for a number of reasons including enhanced recruitment, employee retention, and most importantly, because it is the right thing to do for your personnel.
As the sponsor it is your duty to manage your organization's plan in a manner that ensures not only compliance with all applicable laws, but also in a way that supports its growth and minimizes its related administrative expense - including the cost of a mandatory annual audit.
Our firm takes the view that an excess dollar spent on an audit in fact represents a dollar that the plan, or sponsor, is deprived of. As such, we have tailored our approach to providing 403(b) audit services by:
- Performing "Limited Scope" audits (as permitted under Reg. 2520.103-8)
- Providing cost-effective fixed-fee terms that typically do not escalate during or after the engagement
- Training - our team members receive ongoing training specific to 403(b) audits
- Developing a workflow plan on the front-end of the engagement that is feasible to all parties
- Performing our work in a manner that reduces prolonged distractions to client personnel
- Minimizing our audit team's physical time onsite by obtaining relevant information and performing testing from our offices
Selecting an Auditor
We strongly urge all sponsors and third-party administrators to take a moment to visit the U.S. Department of Labor's website to review their recommendations regarding selecting an auditor. The information provided via the following link can be invaluable in your decision-making process:
If our employee benefit audit services are of interest to your plan, please contact us to schedule a non-binding consultation.