Employee benefit plan audits are deadline-driven, and can require plenty of documentation and interaction with your auditor. Delays could mean fees and/or penalties –as well as higher audit fees than originally estimated.
Is it possible for your audit to be more efficient and even pleasant? The answer is yes – with a little advance planning. New York accountant Kelly Parker, CPA, shares the following tips to help your benefit plan audit go smoothly.
- Review the list of required information and begin gathering items immediately. Some information can take time to request from third party administrators or require additional time to research and collect.
- Gather plan documents and amendments into one place. This will save time when searching for documents or additional information pertaining to your plan.
- Send one request to your third party administrator with all needed items, rather than one at a time. Doing so will save time for your TPA as well as your auditor.
- Determine when needed information will be available from your TPA. Since collecting and providing needed information may take a little time for the TPA to perform, knowing in advance when the information will be available will allow better coordination of the timing of the audit with your auditing team.
- Separate plan transactions from regular accounting records. When you maintain this information separately on a consistent basis, your records will be much easier for you, as well as for your auditor, to gather and review.
- Be available to answer your auditor’s questions. Doing so will help your company manage its investment in the auditing process and help the audit move more quickly and efficiently.
- Respond quickly to auditor requests – within one business day if possible. Since most audit teams are organized to work on assigned 401(k) plans within a set time frame, being responsive can help them remain on schedule and keep audit costs down.
- Provide access to your plan’s secure web portal. That way, your auditor will quickly and efficiently be able to access the information he or she needs.
The benefit plan audit process doesn’t have to be unpleasant. With a little advance planning, your audit experience can be a positive one.
Contact Our 401k Audit Professionals
If you are interested in learning how to create a more efficient 401k audit process then contact us today. For additional information please contact Tom Jeffries, CPA at 330-674-6055, or click here to email Tom.