A well performed audit is vital protection for your employee benefit plan. Generally, federal law requires employee benefit plans with 100 or more eligible participants to have an audit as part of their obligation to file an annual Form 5500. If your employee benefit plan is required to have an audit, one of the most important duties of the plan administrator is to hire a qualified independent public accountant.
OUM has an extensive background in employee benefit plan audits. We have found that companies who engage us enjoy a reduction in audit fees and an increase in client service. We make significant investments in our relationships with employee benefit plan clients.
Some key benefits of working with OUM include:
- Ongoing partner involvement
- Candid and timely communication
- Continuity of experienced professional staff
Our firm believes that staff continuity starts at the partner level. We believe that for excellent client service to be achieved, partners must be directly and actively involved with our clients. Like all CPA firms, we use our staff to undertake some of the work. However, unlike many CPA firms, our partners are active, working participants in all of our projects. Thus, our partners provide continuity from year to year. Furthermore, our staff turnover has been very limited in recent years and we expect this to continue in the foreseeable future.
We provide our staff with comprehensive and ongoing technical training so that they keep abreast of the many issues involved in auditing employee benefit plans. We participate in monthly teleconferences with the BDO Alliance Employee Benefit Plan Community, which is a forum where BDO Alliance firms nation-wide discuss technical accounting and auditing issues relating to employee benefit plans. Additionally, our technical knowledge is enhanced by the national technical professionals of BDO USA, LLP, allowing us to provide the personal service and attention of a local firm, with access to the depth and technical resources of a large national firm.
Audits of employee benefit plans are not like other audits. Employee benefit plan audits require specialized knowledge to address the specific rules applicable to such an audit. Our audit strategy involves utilizing knowledgeable OUM professionals experienced in employee benefit plan audits in all aspects of the audit. A partner will be your primary contact at OUM for communicating and resolving audit issues on an ongoing basis throughout the engagement. We encourage active and two-way communications during all phases of the audit, and spend time up front to plan and organize the audit process to be as efficient and cost-effective as possible.
We focus our resources on higher risk areas, we develop and continuously evaluate materiality thresholds, and we place reliance on internal controls where appropriate. We evaluate a plan's susceptibility to reporting error and fraud, and we evaluate the control environment, the IT environment, SSAE 16 (formerly SAS 70) reports, and recent results and significant current year events.