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DOL Contacts Plan Sponsors with Tips on Selecting a Plan Auditor

Dec 9, 2015

In late November 2015, the Department of labor (“DOL”) began an “email campaign” which involves sending emails to ALL plan administrators and impressing upon them the importance of selecting and monitoring the auditor of their employee benefit plans. You may think that auditors of plans would be unhappy with that -- but at EisnerAmper, we LOVE IT! We fit the mold of a quality auditor. We have procedures in place to stay ahead of what is hot in the area, train our staff exceptionally, and keep our position as an exceptional plan auditor and firm.  

The email caption is “Tips for Selecting and Monitoring a Plan Auditor” and the contents note that “Selecting a qualified CPA who has the expertise to perform an audit in accordance with professional auditing standards is a critical responsibility in safeguarding your plan’s assets and ensuring your compliance with ERISA’s reporting and fiduciary requirements.”   

The email lists certain criteria a plan sponsor might consider in a plan auditor, certain of which are below. Please see our added commentary in bold italics about how EisnerAmper sizes up against the DOL’s recommendation: 

  • The number of employee benefit plans the CPA audits each year, including the types of plans. EisnerAmper audits over 400 plans annually including defined contribution, defined benefit, health & welfare, 403(b), and employee stock ownership plans. 

  • The extent of specific annual training the CPA received in auditing plans. EisnerAmper provided over 48 hours of benefit-plan-specific continuing professional education to more than 200 professionals thus far in 2015. 

  • Whether the CPA has been the subject of any prior DOL findings or referrals, or has been referred to a state board of accountancy or the American Institute of CPAs for investigation. EisnerAmper has been selected for review twice by the DOL in the past 4 years as part of their standard practice and we received zero comments; the DOL did not note any audit areas where they believed there were substandard audit procedures; and we have not been referred to a state board. 

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Diane Wasser

Diane Wasser is the Partner-in-Charge of New Jersey at Eisner Advisory Group and Managing Partner of Regions at Eisner Advisory Group as well as a member of the Eisner Advisory Group Executive Committee. She has over 30 years of experience providing employee benefit plan audit and consulting services to publicly and privately owned entities across the United States.

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