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Wende Wadsworth, CPA

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Missed Deferral Opportunities (MDOs): How to Correct This Operational Plan Error

Posted by Wende Wadsworth, CPA on Nov 2, 2021 1:23:43 PM

One of the most common retirement plan errors is a missed deferral opportunity, or MDO. This occurs when an employer fails to execute an employee’s election to defer amounts to a qualified retirement plan.

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Topics: Audit & Assurance, Retirement Reporter

How to Protect Your Plan from Cyberattack

Posted by Wende Wadsworth, CPA on Sep 8, 2021 2:43:21 PM

A series of damaging cyberattacks have put cybersecurity back in the headlines. Earlier this year, a cyberattack shut down a major oil pipeline that transports gasoline to much of the country, disrupting gas supplies for days and raising prices.

Soon after, another cyberattack temporarily halted meat production at a large beef processor and disrupted these supply channels. Incidents like these are a reminder of the tremendous damage cyberattacks can unleash on our nation’s infrastructure and the importance of building up cyber defenses.

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DOL Final Rule - What to Know About Choosing ESG Funds as QDIAs

Posted by Wende Wadsworth, CPA on Jul 6, 2021 1:54:46 PM

On January 12, a final Department of Labor (DOL) rule went into effect that amends the regulations governing the selection of retirement plan investments by fiduciaries under ERISA. Some important changes were made to the Final Rule from the proposed rule that was first issued a year ago.

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Topics: Audit & Assurance, Employee Benefit Plans

SECURE Act 2.0 Seeks to Boost Retirement Savings

Posted by Wende Wadsworth, CPA on May 12, 2021 12:05:59 PM

Last October, new legislation titled Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2020 was introduced in the House of Representatives. Commonly referred to as the SECURE Act 2.0, this legislation contains a number of provisions designed to increase retirement saving opportunities for Americans as well as ease plan administrative burdens for employers.

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Topics: Audit & Assurance, News

Corporate Mergers and Spinoffs: How Will Your Retirement Plan Be Effected?

Posted by Wende Wadsworth, CPA on Apr 21, 2021 5:13:25 PM

If your company is involved in a merger or spinoff, you’ll need to plan carefully for how your qualified retirement plan will be affected. Failure to plan ahead for the impact of a merger or spinoff on your plan could lead to unintended consequences.

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Topics: Retirement Reporter, Employee Benefit Plans

What is the auditor's responsibility when it comes to reviewing Form 5500?

Posted by Wende Wadsworth, CPA on Mar 9, 2021 4:48:33 PM

Another requirement of Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) No. 136 is that auditors cannot release final financial statements until they have received and approved Form 5500. This raises the question: What is the auditor’s responsibility when it comes to reviewing Form 5500?

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Topics: Audit & Assurance

Audit Management Letters: Pay Close Attention to These Findings

Posted by Wende Wadsworth, CPA on Feb 8, 2021 11:26:43 PM

If an auditor detects discrepancies or deficiencies while performing an employee benefit plan audit, the auditor will communicate these to the plan sponsor in a management letter included with the audit.

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Topics: Audit & Assurance

The Pandemic and Your Retirement Plan: Re-examine Plan Design in Light of COVID-19

Posted by Wende Wadsworth, CPA on Dec 22, 2020 12:03:25 AM

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in financial upheaval for a number of businesses that sponsor an employee retirement plan. As a result, some of them have taken a fresh look at their plan design to see if there are any changes that could help them better weather the financial storm.

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Topics: Audit & Assurance

2021 ERISA Compliance and Reporting Deadlines

Posted by Wende Wadsworth, CPA on Dec 21, 2020 11:21:01 PM

As an employee benefit plan sponsor, you are required to complete a variety of ERISA compliance tasks throughout the year. Your third-party administrator may be engaged to handle some of the tasks for the plan. Here are the 2021 plan year deadlines for some of the most common ERISA compliance tasks:

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Topics: Audit & Assurance

COVID-19 and Partial Plan Terminations: What You Should Know Now

Posted by Wende Wadsworth, CPA on Nov 23, 2020 5:34:42 PM

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, many businesses have been forced to lay off and furlough employees in an effort to bring their workforce in line with reduced demand for products and services. Such downsizing can result in an unintended consequence that affects a business’ qualified retirement plan known as a partial plan termination.

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