Pension Assurance LLP performs smooth and efficient audits at highly competitive fees. In fact, we believe we have the industry’s best value proposition. But we also take audit quality very seriously and as a plan sponsor, you should to.
Hiring an auditor for retirement plans covered by ERISA is a legal responsibility of plan administrators. These audits serve as an important accountability mechanism that regulators, like the Department of Labor (DOL), rely heavily on.
When performing audits, Pension Assurance LLP not only helps clients meet their filing requirements, but also provides valuable feedback to plan administrators when there are opportunities to improve or streamline plan operations.
More importantly, we help you address the biggest risk areas that will get you into trouble with the regulatory authorities. We make it our business to know what regulators are fixated on and work to ensure that our clients are proactively addressing these areas before the DOL or Internal Revenue Service shows up at their doorstep.
5 Reasons a Quality Audit is a Really Big Deal
Why You Probably Don’t Want to Just Hire the Cheapest Guys on the Block
1) It’s a Fiduciary Function. Under ERISA, hiring a plan auditor is considered a fiduciary function.
2) It’s Not Just a Formality. The audit requirement is not “just a formality”. An incomplete, inadequate, or untimely audit report may result in the rejection of your Form 5500 filing.
3) Rejected Filings Can Potentially Be Really Expensive. The Department of Labor (DOL) is authorized to reject any Form 5500 filing it deems deficient. Penalties for deficient filings on plan administrators can be assessed up to $1,100 per day, without limit.
4) Carelessness in Hiring an Auditor Conflicts with the Stated Goal of ERISA to Protect Plan Participants. Hiring a firm that lacks knowledge of the specialized nature of the industry and required skills to audit a retirement plan directly conflicts with the interests of plan participants. Fees should be a secondary consideration after evaluating auditor qualifications.
5) Firms with Limited Retirement Plan Audit Experience Have a Higher Rate of Deficient Professional Work. The DOL’s audit quality studies have identified significantly more audit deficiencies in plan audits performed by practices that audit only a limited number of retirement plans.
Unfortunately, many plan administrators make immense compromises in audit quality just to save a little money or for the convenience of using their existing corporate auditor. For more information on selecting an auditor, consider reviewing the AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center’s publication on “The Importance of Hiring a Quality Auditor for Performing Your Employee Benefit Plan Audit”.