Professional Accounting Blog

    Accounting For Your Prosperity

    Michelle Buckley

    Michelle Buckley is a Vice President in Meaden & Moore’s Assurance Services Group with 23 years of public accounting experience.

    Recent Posts

    Cash flow considerations related to defined contribution retirement plans under COVID-19

    Posted by Michelle Buckley on May 27, 2020 9:49:48 AM

    Topics: Accounting & Auditing, Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing, retirement plan review, COVID-19

    In the last three months, many employers have had significant decreases in their top line revenue and have attempted to cut costs to offset that revenue decrease.  The IRS has provided relief to retirement plans through the CARES’s act to assist plan participants manage through these difficult times.  Today, we wanted to share some strategies for managing cash flows as it relates defined contribution retirement plans from an employer perspective.   

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    Meeting your Retirement Plan Needs in Uncertain Times

    Posted by Michelle Buckley on Apr 8, 2020 2:35:09 PM

    Topics: Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing, COVID-19

    As we continue to navigate through this uncertainty, we wanted to highlight a few items from the recent legislation as they relate to retirement plans, and how we intend to work on your retirement plan remotely while we are away from our offices.   

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    401k Retirement Plan Education Strategies for 2020

    Posted by Michelle Buckley on Mar 3, 2020 4:10:20 PM

    Topics: Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing

    Now is a good time to plan out your retirement plan education strategies for the upcoming year. Some considerations for a successful education plan are:

    Information accessibility

    We live in an environment of technology. Individuals want to have access to information 24/7. It is important to work with outside vendors to ensure that you are providing information in the most efficient manner possible. Keep data concise and easy to access. Allow for information via many different means, such as email, text, opt out option, intranet and mail.

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    Which Organizations are Good ESOP Candidates?

    Posted by Michelle Buckley on Feb 24, 2020 1:34:24 PM

    Topics: Family Business & Succession, Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing, ESOP

    Employee stock option plans (ESOPs) are qualified retirement plans akin to 401(k) plans except that ESOPs must invest primarily in their own company’s stock. From the looks of it, ESOPs could work for just about any privately held company that expects to grow, has a strong leadership team in place and proven business success. But ESOPs have some disadvantages that prevent them from being suitable for all.

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    What Other Retirement Plans Should I Offer Alongside My ESOP?

    Posted by Michelle Buckley on Feb 3, 2020 9:40:13 AM

    Topics: Family Business & Succession, Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing, ESOP

    For ESOP companies, many believe that they cannot offer other retirement plans, however, that is not the case.  You and other privately held companies have numerous options at your disposal, many of which can work in tandem with an ESOP. 

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    How to Stay Prepared for Department of Labor Audits

    Posted by Michelle Buckley on Jan 21, 2020 1:20:00 PM

    Topics: Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing

    When a company hears of a Department of Labor (DOL) audit, they typically tend to panic. The best way to stay prepared for DOL audits is to ensure that you are handling your benefit plans appropriately on a regular basis.

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    Tips for Accurate ESOP Census Reporting

    Posted by Michelle Buckley on Jan 21, 2020 1:05:12 PM

    Topics: Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing, ESOP

    Compiling accurate ESOP census data is critical to the plan.  

    The underlying census data drives eligibility, vesting, and various allocations of the plan assets. We have compiled a few helpful hints to improve accuracy of the data:
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    What's the Deal with ESOPs?

    Posted by Michelle Buckley on Dec 9, 2019 5:10:45 PM

    Topics: Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing, ESOP

    ESOPs – employee stock ownership plans – grant employees with ownership interests in their companies. These benefit plans were first introduced to C corporations in the 1950s, and their tax advantages were formally written into law when the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) passed Congress in 1974. In the 1990s, they became available to S corporations, as well. They are not universally good options for all businesses, but many organizations can benefit from them.

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    IRS Announces 2020 Contribution and Benefit Limits

    Posted by Michelle Buckley on Nov 12, 2019 12:17:13 PM

    Topics: Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing

    The IRS announced on November 6, that several contribution limits in qualified retirement plans will increase next year.

    These limits cover cost of living adjustments to a variety of retirement plan limitations.  The chart below provides a summary of the amounts for your convenience.

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    7 Retirement Plan Committee Best Practices

    Posted by Michelle Buckley on Sep 27, 2019 8:00:00 AM

    Topics: Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing

    Many plan sponsors create oversight committees for their qualified retirement plans. These committees are frequently called “investment committees,” “administrative committees,” or, simply, “retirement plan committees.” The duties of these committees are significant, and will typically include:

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