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

    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

    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

    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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    DOL Increases Retirement Plan Options for Smaller Businesses

    Posted by Michelle Buckley on Aug 5, 2019 4:30:53 PM

    Topics: Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released a final rule which should make it easier for smaller businesses to provide retirement plans to their employees. According to the DOL, the rule will enable more small and midsize unrelated businesses to join forces in multiple employer plans (MEPs) that provide their employees a defined contribution plan such as a 401(k) plan or a SIMPLE IRA plan. Certain self-employed individuals also can participate in MEPs.  

    In October 2018, the DOL issued a proposed rule to clarify when an employer group or association, or a professional employer organization (PEO), can sponsor a MEP. (A PEO is a company that contractually assumes some human resource responsibilities for its employer clients.) The final rule, effective September 30, 2019, is similar to the proposal, but not entirely.

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    Cash Balance Plans, Are They Right For You?

    Posted by Michelle Buckley on Jun 20, 2019 10:10:00 AM

    Topics: Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing

    A cash balance plan is a qualified employee benefit plan which allows participants to accumulate retirement funds through company contributions and interest credits. A cash balance plan provides for a company contribution either in the form of a flat dollar amount or a percentage of pay and for a guaranteed interest component.

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    ESOP Process: Considerations for Implementing an ESOP

    Posted by Michelle Buckley on Jun 11, 2019 10:23:00 AM

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

    At this point, you've already put some thought into implementing an ESOP and feel that it could be a viable option for you as you enter into a succession plan. When making your final decision, however, there are a few things about the ESOP process you as a business owner should be sure not to overlook.

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    Why Should I Care About ESOPs?

    Posted by Michelle Buckley on May 16, 2019 8:00:00 AM

    Topics: Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing

    An ESOP is an employee stock ownership plan that is essentially a retirement plan which helps employees obtain ownership in the company. But why should you care? Well, ESOPs can be great options if you are a privately-held business owner considering succession planning. You have a few options available to you: 

    Family Business Succession Planning

    If you are a family-owned business, you might have your family already in place to take over the company. In this case, ESOPs are generally not the right fit. 

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    ESOPs: What Retirement Benefit Options Can Be Offered to My Employees?

    Posted by Michelle Buckley on Jan 31, 2019 8:00:00 AM

    Topics: Accounting & Auditing

    An employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is a type of retirement plan that helps employees obtain ownership of the company they are employed by. An ESOP can be an exit strategy for an owner of a privately held company. There are different types of retirement plan options to offer employees if you are an ESOP.

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