There are a lot of complex aspects that go into creating and maintaining a successful 401k plan for your business. The same is true for the auditing process. Most plan administrators find the auditing process to be a bit intimidating and stressful. They can’t wait for the auditing process to be completed so that things can get back to normal. So if you’re feeling stressed out, you’re not alone. Here are some pointers to help speed up the audit process.
* Getting started. As soon as you know your 401k plan is going to have to be filed as a “large” plan and required to undergo an audit, begin preparing. Nothing can add stress to the audit like waiting last minute to get it done. Especially since the penalties for submitting a late audit report can be severe.
* Find a CPA firm that specializes in 401k audits. Finding the right CPA firm can make a world of difference in your 401k audit experience. Choose a firm that specializes in 401k rules and audits. They’ll have the know-how to guide you through the steps from start to finish. You may also want to consider a firm that can perform the audit off-site, to make the process less disruptive to your workspace.
* Create a strong 401k administrative committee. One of the first things you should do is to create a strong administrative committee. The committee should consist of high-ranking, experienced members from related departments (HR, Finance, etc.), with each member aware of their tasks and deadlines. This committee should review items like investment performance, plan controls, third party provider service levels, etc. Providing information like meeting minutes from this committee can help speed along your audit.
* Collect and organize plan documents. Your CPA should provide you with a list of documents they’ll need to perform the audit. Begin gathering these documents as early as you can. Getting your paperwork together may be the most time-consuming aspect of the audit, so starting early will help to speed up the process immensely.