Employee Benefit Plans & BRC
By Laura Ward
Our Employee Benefit Plan (EBP) audit team kicked off the 401(k) audit season in early May. Our dedicated EBP team consists of approximately 20 professionals. Why is this so important? A dedicated team not only means our professionals have EBP experience and proper training, but also allows for great client service. We audit over 100 employee benefit plans, which gives us a solid foundation to learn and grow within the industry and educate our personnel and clients.
The EBP kick-off first started with our full team collaborating over a two-day period about current EBP updates, client planning meeting discussions and the efficient processes that we have in place to make for a great season. Three of our EBP leaders attended the AICPA Employee Benefit Plan conference in Denver, Colorado, at the Gaylord Rockies. We attended over 20 hours of CPE classes and participated in a group dinner with our DFK Alliance of other CPA firms who specialize in Employee Benefit Plans. What a fantastic time spending it with other professionals and friends in this space!
As we continue to hear through various channels, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming very prevalent in the audit world. This is true for EBP audits, too. There were several vendors at the conference sharing their tools and techniques to help promote efficiency and provide for a more thorough audit using their AI tools. Additionally, we talked with several CPA firms who are using outsourcing as a means to assist with the overwhelming capacity issues many accounting providers are facing. BRC is thankful for our dedicated EBP team, which lessens the need for such outsourcing of personnel from other firms or foreign countries.
One of the big topics this year is the Secure Act 2.0. There are many topics as part of the Act, but one of high interest is the new audit requirement rule. Instead of the audit requirement being based on the number of eligible employees, it is now based on the number of Plan participants with an account balance. This is a huge change that will eliminate the audit requirement for several employers who have less than 100 participating employees with account balances. The intent is to lessen the burden to the smaller employers. We have been talking with our clients about the impact this change may have on their Plan. It is most important to monitor and understand the Company’s growth plans when determining the best route to take.
BRC’s EBP team has over 25 years of experience from Staff level through Partner level. Our external retirement service partners are also very helpful in sharing education with us, our clients and prospects. Collaboration with management, third-party service providers, and your audit team is key to administering a 401k Plan.
The information contained in this article is for informative purposes only and should not be relied on when making any business, legal, or other decisions. This information may be updated without notice and/or may not contain the most current information that is available related to this topic. Please consult with your advisor to determine how this information applies to your specific facts and circumstances.