You may have been notified recently that your 401(k) plan service provider completed a Form 5500 extension on your behalf as your Plan requires an audit. If your Plan files on a calendar year basis, you may be scrambling to find an auditor for your 401(k) Plan, to meet the October 15th filing deadline. It is still important that you conduct some due diligence to ensure you select a qualified firm.
It is important that you select an auditor that has specific knowledge regarding 401(k) plan audits. They are different from traditional company financial statement audits as they are compliance-oriented and test specific regulatory requirements that most auditors are not familiar with.
We recommend you ask the following questions when selecting an auditor for your plan:
- How many audits per year does this audit firm conduct specifically related to benefit plans? What type of benefit plans have they audited? What is the size of the typical benefit plan in their audit portfolio? Does this experience-level match up with your plan? Summit CPA Group audits over 100 plans per year. Our audits are generally small to medium size audits (up to 500 plan eligible participants) but we do have larger and more complex plans in the mix.
- What level of expertise does the firm staff have specifically related to benefit plan auditing? At Summit CPA Group, we only use audit staff that have specialized knowledge in this area. You will not be assigned a “new” auditor that does not understand the basics of your Plan.
- How long does the typical benefit plan audit take at the firm? Will the firm be able to take on a new client and complete the audit in the timeframe left before the filing deadline? We are on a growth curve at Summit. We expect to add audit clients and we have staffed up for the growth. We will work to your schedule to ensure the audit is completed timely.
- What specialized training does the firm provide for its benefit plan auditors? At Summit CPA Group we are providing over 20 hours of specialized training for all our audit staff at the national AICPA conference on benefit plan auditing in 2021.
If you need an audit for your Plan in 2021, consider a specialized firm like Summit CPA Group. We are not looking to provide all your audit and accounting services, but we can provide a quality benefit plan audit that is efficient and accurate. Contact our office at (800) 497-9761 to schedule an appointment.