Whitley Penn performs audits on approximately 200 plans annually and prepare and or review over 300 Form 5500 tax returns. Whitley Penn’s benefit plan audit professionals have seen and audited every type of employee benefit plan, whether qualified or unqualified. We focus on both small and large plans, but especially on large plans – those above the 100-eligible participant threshold for filing an audit report with a Plan’s Form 5500 filing with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and are known for finding non-compliance issues that in-house personnel or previous plan auditors have missed. Such errors compound over years, can jeopardize a plan’s qualified status if not detected timely and properly remediated, and can result in significant financial impact to the plan sponsor.
Top-Notch Talent and Resources
Well over half of Whitley Penn Auditors have at least three to five years of experience in employee benefit plan audits. Their backgrounds often include experience working at Big Four accounting firms. A Whitley Penn employee benefit plan auditor and tax compliance professional will educate the benefits and accounting personnel on what efficiencies to pursue and what problems to avoid – not just once a year when conducting the audit or preparing Form 5500s, but throughout the year and again annually at our Whitley Penn Employee Benefit Plan Conference, held in May/June.
Covering the Full Range of Plans and Services
Whitley Penn has experience auditing the full range of:
- 401(k), 403(b), 401(a) and profit sharing defined contribution plans
- Employee health and welfare plans
- Defined benefit pension plans
- Public sector retirement plans
- Plans requiring a Form 11-K filing with the SEC (ERISA and non-ERISA)
- Plans held in a master trust
- Plan mergers, spin-offs and terminations
We can also provide due diligence guidance on employee benefit plans before and after mergers and acquisitions or assist with and voluntary correction and compliance programs with the DOL and Internal Revenue Service (IRS). While we are not ERISA specialists, we will work effectively with ERISA counsel to identify compliance concerns and recommend corrections.
Observing Top Professional Standards
We welcome peer reviews by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), and have never had a significant deficiency issue raised in such inspections. Moreover, with our large employee benefit plan practice, we are one of approximately 80 firms in the country that meet the 100-plan requirement for a DOL inspection. These are thorough inspections that encompass a detailed review of our audit workpapers and related audited financial statements filed with the Form 5500, and our clients have confidence in the clean record we have in such inspections.
One reason for our effectiveness is our membership and participation in the education programs of the AICPA’s Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center (EBPAQC). The EBPAQC was established in 2003 to promote the quality of employee benefit plan audits, and we have distinguished ourselves from the start as highly credentialed. Additionally, several of our professionals attend the AICPA’s National Conference for Employee Benefit Plans each year.
Keeping Clients in Compliance
Our executive benefit plan auditors have significant experience and excellent working relationships with the Office of the Chief Accountant at the DOL, as well as field agents in the Metroplex and other key regions. If our client is selected by the DOL from among other Form 5500 filers for an inspection, we know the exact steps to help them through it.