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

    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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    ESOP vs. Non-ESOP Companies: What’s the Difference?

    Posted by Michelle Buckley on Jan 3, 2019 8:00:00 AM

    Topics: Accounting and Tax Resource

    As of 2018, the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) estimates there are almost 7,000 employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) covering more than 14 million employees.

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    Changes on the Horizon for Employee Benefit Plan Limited Scope Audits

    Posted by Michelle Buckley on Dec 7, 2018 2:29:24 PM

    Topics: Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing

    The Auditing Standards Board (ASB) has voted to issue a change to the reporting and performance requirements in regards to limited scope audits for Employee Benefit Plans.

    The limited scope audit will be referred to as an ERISA Section 103(a)(3)(C) audits. The new standard will also require new procedures surrounding engagement acceptance, audit risk assessment and response, communications to those charged with governance along with other considerations.

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    Implementing an ESOP – Plan and Trustee Considerations

    Posted by Michelle Buckley on Nov 14, 2018 8:00:00 AM

    As a business owner, you have decided to sell to your employees and implement an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). Your advisors have helped you structure the deal, the financing is in place, and the last piece to complete is designing the actual ESOP plan and choosing a trustee.

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    ESOPs: Are They the Right Ownership Strategy for Your Business?

    Posted by Michelle Buckley on Jul 25, 2018 11:05:35 AM

    When deciding if an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is the right business ownership strategy for your company, there’s a few things you need to consider.

    First off, what is an ESOP? An ESOP is an employee-owner program that provides a company’s workforce with an ownership interest in the company. It must follow the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (IRC). An ESOP is also a qualified employee benefit plan similar to a 401(k), but it’s permitted to invest in private company stock and allowed to borrow money from it.

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    7 Best Practices Every Retirement Plan Committee Member Should Follow

    Posted by Michelle Buckley on Apr 26, 2017 11:03:11 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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