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Employee Benefit Plan Auditing

At Buckno Lisicky & Company, we are committed to achieving the highest quality audit services possible. We understand the complexity of performing employee benefit plan audits. That's why we have a superb dedicated team of auditors that possess the specialized knowledge and experience to help ensure compliance with the appropriate standards and changes in regulations that may impact your company's employee benefit plan audit.

We plan and execute our audits in a way that maximizes audit efficiency and quality and we offer your plan administrator and human resources personnel confidence in their plan reporting and management.


As a member of the American Institute of CPAs Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center, we are committed to adhering to the highest quality standards by voluntarily agreeing to the Center membership requirements.

Our employee benefit plan audit services include the following for both single and multi-employer plans:

  • Defined benefit plans
  • Defined contribution plans including 403(b)
  • Health and welfare benefit plans

LEARN MORE
Avoid Costly Penalties by Choosing an Auditor with these Qualifications
6 Things to Consider when Evaluating an Auditor to Avoid Possible ERISA Litigation
Choose Expertise and Size when Selecting an Auditor or Use These Criteria when Selecting an Auditor


Avoid Costly Penalties by Choosing an Auditor with these Qualifications

Choosing the wrong auditor could cost you BIG $$$$.

Audits of employee benefit plan (EBP) financial statements are an important service in which quality performance is imperative. Recent studies by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) have found significant deficiencies in these plan audits, which is leading to increased enforcement.

In laymen's terms, more risk for plan administrators.

The DOL will reject filings because of deficient plan audits and impose costly penalties of up to $1,100 a day, without limit, on plan administrators.

The threat of penalties alone makes the selection of a quality audit firm essential for plan administrators.

When engaging an auditor for your EBP, be sure that they are up to speed with recent developments and current with their continuing professional education in this highly specialized area.


Auditors of EBP plans should have expertise in the following, but not limited to:

  • Unique aspects of the plan
  • Issues that could affect the plan's tax status
  • Evaluating the fair value of plan assets
  • Timeliness of the remittance of plan contributions
  • How plan provisions affect the payment of benefits to participants
    or their beneficiaries
  • Allocations to participant accounts
  • Prohibited transactions

Plan administrators can find helpful tools at the AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center (EBPAQC) website as well as search a list of EBPAQC member audit firms. You will take notice that Buckno Lisicky & Company is proudly on this list.


6 Things to Consider when Evaluating an Auditor to Avoid Possible ERISA Litigation

Over the past several years, there has been an explosion of ERISA litigation - suits brought against employers by their employees who are concerned about the overall record keeping, investment fees and investment options associated with their plans.

Things to consider when evaluating an auditor
for your employee benefit plan:

  1. The number and type of employee benefit audit engagements.
  2. Firm references from similar type plans with specific contact information.
  3. Is the firm a member of the AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center?
  4. Whether the firm is subject or has been the subject of any DOL findings.
  5. Is the firm independent?
  6. Whether the firm has the proper insurance coverage.

For additional information on this subject and helpful tools such as, Selecting an Auditor for Your Employee Benefit Plan — visit The Department of Labor's (DOL) Web site.


Choose Expertise and Size when Selecting an Auditor or Use These Criteria when Selecting an Auditor

The results are in ... and they are not good!

The Office of the Chief Accountant (OCA) of the DOL's Employee Benefit Security Administration recently performed a statistical assessment of the quality of audit work performed by independent auditors of ERISA plan financial statements for the 2011 plan filing year. The OCA selected and reviewed a statistical sample of 400 ERISA audits for compliance with professional standards and ERISA reporting and disclosure requirements.

The results found that approximately 38% of the 400 audits selected for review were deficient!

In reaction to their findings, the OCA made 131 referrals to the AICPA's Professional Ethics Division and 13 referrals were made to the respective state boards of public accountancy.

These shocking results uncovered a direct correlation between the size of an independent auditing firm's employee benefit plan practice and deficient work. Almost 75% of the plan audits selected by the DOL for their Audit Quality Study were deficient when the independent auditing firm performs 1-2 plan audits annually. In addition, independent auditing firms who are members of the Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center had a lower deficiency rate than firms who are not members.

Later this year, the OCA expects to send letters to plan sponsors of selected plans requesting them to have their plan auditor send copies of the audit workpapers to the OCA's offices for review.

Given these results, it is evident that it has become increasingly important that plan sponsors are aware of the qualifications of their plan auditor. Be proactive and avoid being on the wrong side of future audit quality reviews.