Audit Resources – Things You Need To Know
Audits tend to go smoothly when all parties are well informed and prepared. In order to help this process, here are some of the things you should know about the audit process:
Before The Audit
Initial contact regarding details related to plan, much of which can be addressed by completing the request-a-quote form.
Development of proposal and related engagement letter. Once signed, start gathering information, such as:
- Prior year’s audit and/or 5500 filing
- Conversations with prior auditors as required by professional standards
- Plan documents and/or Adoption Agreement – signed copy
- Plan Amendments (since last Adoption Agreement)
- Investment Policy Statement
During The Audit
There are two stages in our actual audit process, one being advance preparation, the other being “on-site”. Since our model and goal is to respect our clients’ valuable time, we request as much PRIOR to our visit in electronic format. With the information we provide and/or request, we can complete up to 80 or 90 percent of the audit prior to even visiting your facilities. Most of our communication with you during stage one, we will request the following information:
- Draft 5500 and all related schedules
- Discrimination Test Results
- Complete audit package from your custodian, third party administration or record keeper.
- Service providers SOC1 Reports outline the procedures and controls in place at these record keepers
- Various schedules that will facilitate our audit process
- Sampling requests – these are sent prior to our visit for your advance preparation
Most of our requests are done via email and any sensitive documents are either sent and/or requested using Citrix’s ShareFile software. This allows encrypted, secure transfer of information to and from our firm.
The second stage of our audit is for an actual visit to your facilities. Because of the advance work performed, our visit is rarely longer than one day. At the end of that day, there may be unanswered questions that require follow-up, but most of that is typically done via email and/or telephone. In greater than 75% of our audits, we provide you with draft financial statements prior to our leaving your facilities the day of our visit.
After The Audit
Once our field work is completed and all remaining items completed, and with your review and approval of our draft financials we move to the eFiling process with the Department of Labor. Depending on what service provider you use, we will either assist you or them in the completion of that process, monitor the final completion and send you your final copies of the completed audit.
We also provide you with required “governance” correspondence with any issues we discovered during our audit.
In the event your 5500 is selected for audit by either the DOL or IRS, we make ourselves available to assist you in documentation related to any questions the examiners may have. Typically we don’t charge for this service