Mastering Form 5500 Schedule H: Avoiding Audit Triggers

Financial Information Reporting Requirements, Identifying Valuation Challenges and Expanded Compliance Questions

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

Conducted on Thursday, May 18, 2017

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Course Materials

This course will provide employee benefits professionals and tax advisers with a practical and comprehensive guide to completing Form 5500, with a specific focus on Schedule H, Financial Reporting. The panel will offer specific guidance on completing the form, detailing the fair value calculations and helping navigate the potential future Compliance Questions of Part IV of the schedule. The panel will also discuss the pending changes to financial disclosures announced by the IRS and DOL in 2016, and prepare advisers to deal with new reporting requirements.


In 2016 the IRS, Department of Labor, and the PBGC proposed sweeping changes to the regulations governing the annual reporting of employee benefit plans on Form 5500. Among the key components of the proposed changes are a major increase in the number of plans that must file, and significant expansion of plan information disclosure requirements.

One change that will impact many plans is the expansion of disclosures on Schedule H, one of the most complex schedules in the EBP reporting regime. The Schedule currently requires employers with more than 100 employees maintaining a benefit plan to report the financial position of all funds and investments, and in the future may include a series of complicated Compliance Questions on Part IV. The proposed changes may expand the categories of asset classifications, as well as increasing the scope of the compliance questions.

The proposed changes also anticipate adding new schedules and narrowing the exemptions for small plans to report on Form 5500-SF. These revisions will result in an increased use of Form 5500 as a compliance tool by the IRS, DOL and PBGC. While comments to the proposed changes are still under review, both the IRS and DOL are advising plan sponsors and employers to prepare for expanded reporting of financial positions.

Listen as our experienced panel provides a thorough and practical guide to mastering Form 5500, with a specific emphasis on Schedule H Financial Reporting for Employee Benefit Plans, as well as the impact of proposed changes to Form 5500 filing requirements.



  1. Key Schedules to Form 5500
  2. Schedule H - Plan Asset Valuations on Part I
  3. Income and Expenses Reporting on Part II
  4. Accountant's opinion as an audit trigger
  5. Compliance Questions
  6. Proposed Changes to Form 5500


The panel will discuss these and other important issues and challenges:

  • What are the specific triggers for an IRS audit of Form 5500 Schedule H?
  • How excess amounts on Line 15 “Other Assets” increases the likelihood of a DOL audit
  • Valuation challenges and “good faith” standard
  • How the proposed changes to Form 5500 Schedule H will increase the reporting burden for both employers and plan sponsors
  • Addressing plan issues in Part IV Compliance Questions


Ahsan, Sharjeel
Sharjeel Ahsan, CPA, MBA
Audit Senior Manager
McConnell & Jones

Mr. Ahsan has been instrumental in builing and leading the Firm’s Form 5500 preparation practice and has...  |  Read More

John C. Hughes, Esq.
John C. Hughes, Esq.

The ERISA Law Group

Mr. Hughes focuses his practice in the area of ERISA/employee benefits. He represents clients nationwide relative to...  |  Read More

Stacey I. Snyder, CPA, QKA
Stacey I. Snyder, CPA, QKA

Belfint Lyons Shuman

Ms. Snyder has experience in employee benefit plan audits and nonprofit audits. She regularly contributes to the...  |  Read More

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