401k Annual Audits: Anticipating Serious and Costly Errors, Evaluating Alternative Solutions

Recording of a 110-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Recorded event now available

This webinar will provide employee benefits administrators, auditors and plan sponsors with best practices to prevent serious and costly errors in preparing for 401k audits. The panel will explain the pitfalls that practitioners often encounter in these audits and outline how to address these issues based on real-world experiences.


Proficiency in administrating and auditing 401k plans requires staying on top of myriad and ever-changing IRS and DOL rules and regulations. A 401k plan with more than 100 eligible participants must file audited financials along with Form 5500, which are closely scrutinized during DOL audits.

Benefit audit professionals and advisers must know the red flags for the IRS and DOL in a Form 5500 before filing—and be able to identify problems in prior filings to get ahead of any issue with the IRS with appropriate amendments.

Our panel of veteran professionals, all well versed and experienced with 401k audits, will provide you a road map to avoid costly mistakes. The panel’s experiences and solutions will help you increase your accuracy in filing, take action to correct prior errors, and prepare for and get through these audits.

Listen as our panelists offer best practices and insights based on real world experience for avoiding common high risk mistakes associated with 401k audits. The panel will also outline approaches to identify and correct plan errors before an audit or after a filing.


  1. 401k plan audit overview
    1. Relevant forms and regulations
  2. Form 5500
    1. 401k plan rule issues
  3. Challenges to anticipate
    1. Common plan operation errors
      1. Denied Form 5500
    2. Potential fixes for errors
  4. Best practices for audit preparation
    1. Benefit plan audit experiences


The panel will address these and other key issues:

  • Understanding the areas of highest risk in 401k audits
  • Identifying and avoiding the most common mistakes in 401k audits
  • Implementing expedient solutions to the most common 401k or filing mistakes after the fact
  • Pinpointing Form 5500 red flags for the IRS and DOL

Learning Objectives

Upon completing this webinar, you will be able to:

  • Recognize and correct serious but common mistakes that lead to 401(k) audits by the IRS
  • Identify and correct errors that lead to 401(k) audits by the DOL
  • Discern plan operational errors
  • Determine whether plans pass the basic IRS testing requirements


Brian A. Benko, Partner
McDermott Will & Emery, Washington, D.C.

Mr. Benko advises clients on a variety of employee benefits matters related to qualified retirement plans, executive compensation arrangements, and health and welfare plans. He has experience with the design, restructuring, amendment, and administration of various types of plans and has represented clients before the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

Joanna C. Kerpen, Partner
McDermott Will & Emery, Washington, D.C.

Mrs. Kerpen focuses her practice on a variety of employee benefits tax and ERISA matters related to 401(k) plans, pension plans, health and welfare plans, and executive compensation plans, including designing, amending and administering such plans. She has extensive experience with PPACA compliance as with HIPAA and various other federal and state laws relevant to health and welfare plans.


Recorded Event

Includes full event recording plus handouts.

Note: Self-study CPE and EA credits are not offered on recorded events.

Recorded Webinar Download $147.00

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Recorded Audio Download (MP3) $147.00

How does this work?


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IRS Approved Provider

Strafford is an IRS-approved continuing education provider offering certified courses for Enrolled Agents (EA) and Tax Return Preparers (RTRP).

Program Materials

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Program Materials

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CPE Credit

Strafford is a NASBA CPE sponsor and our live webinars qualify for CPE credits. They offer you a high quality, cost effective, and convenient CPE option, with no lost travel time or expenses.

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Customer Reviews

I loved the tools and handouts. Every CPE class should offer these kind of tools.

Jackie Meyer

Sample and Bailey

I liked the fact that there was more than one person presenting the material. It's nice to hear multiple perspectives.

Matt Bristow

Cover & Rossiter

Excellent seminar! It was efficient and the important topics were covered at just the right pace; no time was wasted covering information that the participants already knew.

Rhonda G. Williams, CPA

Barraclough & Associates

The conference was technical, informative and presented at a good pace.

Krystal Ching


I purchased the conference a few minutes after it began and the customer service rep was very helpful and got me signed up and logged into the conference very quickly.

Joanna Johnston

Savas Greene & Company

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Accounting Advisory Board

Bill Allen


Making Auditors Proficient

Alicia Dias

Audit Manager


Richard H. Gesseck



Neil Goldenberg

CFO Advisor


Greg Goller

Partner-in-Charge, Non-Profit Tax Practice

Grant Thornton

Lynford Graham, CPA

Professor of Accounting

Bentley University

Joe Kristan


Roth & Co. CPAs

Steven J. Luber

Senior Manager


Gary O'Krent


Bluestein O'Krent & Bluestein

Curtis Reinhart


Ernst & Young

Celia Roady

Tax Partner

Morgan Lewis

Charles (Chip) Schweiger


PKF Texas

Chris Stanz

Principal, Non-Profit and Government Practice


Alan Strand


Strand and Associates

Danielle Thompson

Director of Business Development

Insight Accounting Group

or call 1-800-926-7926

Our Guarantee

Strafford webinars are backed by our 100% Unconditional Money-Back Guarantee: if you are not satisfied with any of our products, simply let us know and get a full refund. For more information regarding complaints and refunds, please contact us at 1-800-926-7926 ext 10. Complaints regarding this program can be submitted via the course evaluation found in the “Thank you” e-mail at the end of the course.