Professional Accounting Blog

    Accounting For Your Prosperity

    Best Practices: How to Prep for an Employee Benefit Plan Audit

    Posted by Carlo Berlingieri on Mar 12, 2020 8:00:00 AM

    Topics: Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing

    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 an employee benefit plan audit guide to help you prepare for the audit and make it seamless.

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    IRS Focusing on Employee Benefit Plan Audit Controls

    Posted by Brian Dunfee on Mar 4, 2020 10:30:00 AM

    Topics: Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is focusing on internal control in auditing as the basis for determining the scope of the employee benefit plan audit. The IRS is concentrating on the various policies and procedures that are intended to govern the plan. A few of the areas being looked at are:

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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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    The SECURE Act Likely to Affect Your Retirement and Estate Plans

    Posted by Jonathan Ciccotelli on Feb 13, 2020 11:43:00 AM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies, Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing

    In late 2019, the first substantial legislation related to retirement savings since 2006 became law. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act brings numerous changes to the retirement and estate planning landscape, and some of them should prompt careful review of your existing plans to ensure they’ll accomplish the desired outcomes, including minimizing taxes.

    The most significant provisions include the following changes: 

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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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    The SECURE Act Changes the Rules for Employers on Retirement Plans

    Posted by Jonathan Ciccotelli on Feb 3, 2020 9:38:25 AM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies, Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing

    The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act is the first significant retirement-related legislation in more than a dozen years. It brings many changes that affect employers of all sizes, including some that could be particularly beneficial for smaller employers that sponsor retirement plans. Some of the changes, however, may increase the burden on employers. Here are some of the most important developments for employers, many of which took effect for plan years beginning after December 31, 2019.

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    Controlled Group of Corporations: What Do I Need to Know?

    Posted by Brian Dunfee on Jan 29, 2020 11:30:00 AM

    Topics: Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing

    Some of the major complexities of many qualified retirement plans result from the various subsidiaries and other entities that are part of the larger corporate parent. There are specific definitions within various regulatory provisions that need to be considered, including controlled group of corporations.

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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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