Professional Accounting Blog

    Accounting For Your Prosperity

    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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    Plan Sponsor Dilemma: Locating Missing Participants

    Posted by Brian Dunfee on Jan 17, 2020 2:30:00 PM

    Topics: Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing

    When the decision is made to terminate a defined contribution plan subject to ERISA, an important consideration for the plan sponsor is how to locate missing participants in order to distribute their vested benefit under the plan.

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    Spending Bill Extends Tax Breaks, Adds Retirement Account Provisions

    Posted by Jonathan Ciccotelli on Dec 30, 2019 4:00:08 PM

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

    With its winter recess looming before it, Congress has engaged in a flurry of activity. Most notably, it reached agreement on a massive governmentwide spending package titled the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020. The legislation extends certain income tax provisions that had expired, as well as some that were due to expire at the end of 2019.  

    Congress traditionally passes so-called “extenders” annually, but it neglected to do so for 2018. As a result, several popular breaks for both individuals and businesses expired at the end of 2017. 

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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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    4 Factors for Hiring Quality Employee Benefit Plan Auditors

    Posted by Carlo Berlingieri on Dec 3, 2019 11:30:00 AM

    Topics: Accounting & Auditing, Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing

    The AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center (EBPAQC) has published a plan advisory called “The Importance of Hiring a Quality Auditor to Perform Your Employee Benefit Plan Audit.” This advisory was created for plan administrators to have a guide to follow the important process of hiring an auditor with the correct experience to audit employee benefit plans.

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    3 Best Practices for Your Annual Retirement Plan Review

    Posted by Carlo Berlingieri on Nov 19, 2019 11:02:00 AM

    Topics: Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing

    Retirement plan fiduciaries should meet on an annual basis (if not more frequently) to discuss the plan with outside service providers, including the investment advisor, custodian/trustee, and third-party administrator. In this blog, we’ll discuss the three best practices for your annual retirement plan review and what the focus of these meetings should include.

    1. Investment Performance of the Funds in the Plan

    The fiduciaries should determine if the funds in the plan are meeting the criteria outlined in the investment policy statement (IPS). Funds that are not meeting your stated criteria should be put on a watch list as outlined in the IPS or possibly removed from the plan, again depending on the IPS. In addition to reviewing fund performance, you’ll want to ensure that the group of funds that are offered in your plan are still meeting the requirements of the IPS. Read More

    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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