Do April Showers Bring May Plan Auditors?

Top Employee Benefit Plan Tips for April

Did you know April showers bring May plan auditors? It’s true. After the April 15 tax deadline, plan auditors will be ready to go full force into pension season. This makes April a great time for plan sponsors to coordinate with their plan auditors and third party administrator’s (“TPAs”) for the upcoming plan audit.

The keys to a successful plan audit experience are planning and communication and planning. Best practices include:

  1. requesting a list of information needed from your plan auditor,
  2. scheduling a brief conference call with those involved in the plan audit process,
  3. determining when and how information will be available and
  4. scheduling the plan audit based on a realistic timeframe. 

When reviewing the request list of information needed, determine which items the TPA will provide and assign plan sponsor personnel to prepare and provide other items. And ask the TPA and plan auditor if they have secure portals to obtain and provide audit information. These portals help avoid lost emails, track document request and information provided.  

So, to recap:

  • Plan ahead and communicate
    • Who – Plan auditor, TPAs, and plan sponsor
    • What – Detailed information request from plan auditors
    • When – When will the information be available and what is the typical turnaround time for additional requests?
    • Where – Where is the location of the information? 
    • How – The method used to access the information. Access to portals?

Denise Finney is a Director in the Pension Services Group dedicated to employee benefit plan audits. With 15 years of public accounting experience, she specializes in assisting clients with annual audit requirements regarding employee benefit plans.

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