As with every spring, you are tasked to prepare for your year-end employee benefit plan audit. It seems that our to-do lists at work are longer and longer, so we have compiled some best practices to prepare for the audit and help make them seamless.
7 Ways to Make Employee Benefit Plan Audit Prep Run Smoothly
- Meet with auditors early in the year to discuss expectations, goals, new reporting requirements and timing of the engagement that works with your schedule. In addition, you can discuss the staffing on the engagement to fit the needs of your plan.
- Prepare schedules or accumulate data during the year that is needed for the year-end audit (census files, internal control summaries, etc.).
- Ask for an assistance letter. There are a number of audit steps that can be completed well before your audit starts. Review of internal controls, sampling, even financial statement preparation can be performed well ahead of your plan audit.
- Any new investments, change in trustees or third-party administrators, or adding new employee groups to be eligible for your plan? Bring the changes up early in the audit process so it’s not a surprise when the audit starts.
- Let your auditors know what concerns you have about your plan. They can adjust their audit to focus on areas of your concern and at the end of the audit, you can review with them their recommendations for internal control improvements.
- Hold frequent meetings with your internal team and the auditors during and after the audit fieldwork is completed. These meeting should address any open requirements that will be needed to finalize the audit.
- Have a debriefing meeting as soon as the report has been issued final and the filing requirements have been satisfied. What went well? What needs to be improved on?
By performing some of the best practices above, you can better manage your plan audit so that you can spend more time focusing on managing your plans. If you have any specific questions on your plan that you’d like to discuss with one of our employee benefit professionals, please free to give us a call.