Retirement Plan Audit Strategies

Revising Audit Roadmaps Based on 403(b) Regs, Form 5500 Changes and New Transitional Guidance

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

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Conducted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This course will provide accounting advisors with alternatives and best practices to improve audit planning for non-profit retirement plans and for filing Form 5500 and financials under the revised 403(b) regulations and transitional guidance.


In the coming months, non-profits and their advisors must prepare for federal audits involving IRS 403(b) regs on retirement plans. Most non-profits' employee benefit plans must file audited financials along with their Form 5500s, all of which are closely scrutinized during audits.

Careful audit planning demands increased the last couple years with 403(b) regs overhaul and Form 5500 revisions, and more recently with DOL's transitional guidance in Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2010-01. The guidance strikes certain contracts and custodial accounts from plan assets.

Advisory firms must work closely with plan administrators to ensure non-profits' plan documentation and Form 5500s are complete and accurate. Based on last year's experiences, advisors can guide clients in anticipating areas on which auditors are likely to focus and in preparing for audit scrutiny.

Listen as our panel of experienced accounting advisors provides a thorough briefing on preparing an effective non-profit retirement plan audit strategy.



  1. New aspects of Form 5500 that auditors will look for
    1. Form 5500 itself: Plan name, signatures, headcount, plan features highlighted
    2. Schedule A: Insurance companies named, are plan investments pooled separate accounts, do PSA totals match financial statements
    3. Schedule H: Compare net assets available for benefits against financials, compare contract and fair values, question on employee deferrals and loan repayments
  2. New aspects of 403(b) plans that auditors will look for
    1. New plan document requirements
    2. Universal availability rules and audits
    3. New transfer and exchange rules
  3. Transitional guidance
    1. Labor Department Field Assistance Bulletin 2010-01
  4. Preparing for an audit
    1. Maintaining plan documentation and participant records
    2. Historical account of plan custodians
    3. Reconciling what are and aren’t plan assets
    4. Acquiring asset information for plan year
    5. Selecting qualified auditor
    6. Obtaining engagement letter
    7. Pre-audit meetings
    8. Audit conduct


The panel will address these and other key topics:

  • The overhauled 403(b) regs: Finding the potential red flags in the new plan documents, different non-discrimination and asset-transfer rules, and employee exclusion rules.
  • The transitional guidance on 403(b) and Form 5500: Leveraging the ability to keep certain annuity contracts and custodial accounts out of plan assets.
  • Audit planning strategies: Creating a plan to anticipate and prepare for each area where auditors are likely to inspect a plan for compliance issues.


Alicia Schmidt
Alicia Schmidt
Manager, Employee Benefit Assurance Services Group

She works on audits of single- and multi-employer employee benefit plans, including defined-benefit and health and...  |  Read More

Kriste Naples-DeAngelo
Kriste Naples-DeAngelo

Partner, Pension Services Group

She is a senior member of the firm's Pension Services Group and has more than 25 years of experience in public...  |  Read More

Scott Tuxbury
Scott Tuxbury

Director of Retirement and Investments
New Wealth Advisors

He has more than 15 years of experience in the retirement plan sector and is active in plan audit, design, oversight...  |  Read More

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