DOL Urges Businesses to Select a Qualified Benefit Plan Auditor, Such As AAFCPAs

In letters and emails mailed in November 2015, the US Department of Labor reminds businesses who filed a Form 5500 with audited financial statements of the importance of selecting a qualified CPA firm with expertise in ERISA standards.
This email is in response to results published in a recent DOL audit quality study, which found “serious problems with nearly 40% of employee benefit plan audits.”  It should be noted that neither your Plan’s audit nor AAFCPAs were included in the study.  However, the study revealed numerous audit deficiencies amongst firms that lack the training and expertise in this specialized audit area.
AAFCPAs has specialized in providing high quality, cost effective employee benefit plan audits to nonprofits, privately-held, and public companies for over 25 years. Continually changing regulations for employee benefit plans makes this more complex and time consuming than ever before. With AAF you get proactive service, an efficient and pleasant engagement, and flexibility in scheduling. Our clients benefit from the latest research and our insight in this highly technical practice area.

  • AAF has a dedicated Employee Benefits Plan Audit Division that oversees plan audits in a cost-efficient, timely, and thorough manner.
  • We audit 125+ employee benefits plans every year, and specialize in 403(b) and 401(k) employee benefit plans.
  • Our professionals stay apprised of the frequent regulatory changes that effect audit engagements through ongoing, specialized continuing education.
  • The expertise of our partners comes through the culmination of a lifetime of formal education, continuous learning, and active work experience solving issues pragmatically in both the nonprofit and commercial industry sectors.
  • We consult with organizations on Health and Welfare Plan filings, Voluntary Compliance Filing Issues, and Plan Structure.
  • AAF is a member of the AICPA’s Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center. We provide our clients with the most updated regulatory developments, and deliver best practice techniques on audit, accounting, and regulatory issues. In addition, our tri-annual peer review includes a sampling of our work in employee benefit plan quality.
  • We meet the independent standards required of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and have not been subject to any DOL audits, findings, or referrals, or any AICPA or state society ethics referrals.

We review the Form 5500 for consistency with the audited financial statements and to ensure that there are no items of substance that may draw the attention of the Department of Labor. AAF employee benefit plan audits become a valuable opportunity to review plan operations, benchmark plan investment options, ensure compliance, and advise on best practices and responsibilities.
“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,” said Ian Dingwall, CPA, Chief Accountant, Employee Benefits Security Administration, US DOL.
We consistently hear that our employee benefit plan audits are a best value solution because we provide that ideal combination of expertise, service, and price.
If you have any questions regarding your Plan audit or ERISA compliance, please contact your AAFCPA partner, or Davide Villani, CPA, Managing Director at 774.512.4012,

About the Author

Davide Villani CPA
Davide is a leader of AAFCPAs’ specialized Employee Benefit Plan Audit & Consulting Practice with extensive expertise in ERISA standards. He provides meaningful audits, done efficiently by a dedicated employee benefit plan audit practice within a 300-person CPA & consulting firm, and with access as needed to the resources of PrimeGlobal, the 4th largest CPA firm network globally. He audits and advises plan sponsors on ERISA compliance requirements, including those associated with administering 401K, 403B, Defined Benefit, and Health & Welfare Plans. He provides proactive guidance to retirement plan fiduciaries, which helps to protect the financial integrity of employee benefit plans. He reviews the Form 5500 to confirm that investments reflect accurately in the financial information, and that you are operating the plan confidently in compliance with ERISA reporting and fiduciary requirements.

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