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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

Capitalization of Start-Up Costs and Website Development Costs

Posted by Gulraj Chhina on Jun 17, 2021 2:44:52 PM

There are many costs associated with starting and running a business, and determining whether those costs should be capitalized or expensed can provide challenges. Below is a summary of U.S. generally accepted accounting principles related to capitalization of start-up costs and website development costs.

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Topics: Audit & Assurance

How to Handle the SECURE Act's Part-Time Employee Mandate

Posted by Wende Wadsworth, Audit Shareholder on Jun 8, 2021 6:53:18 PM

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act that was signed into law in late 2019 included a number of provisions designed to expand retirement plan coverage to more employees. One of these provisions requires employers to let certain part-time employees participate in the company’s 401(k) plan starting in 2024.

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Topics: Audit & Assurance, Retirement Reporter

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

Start Preparing Now for SAS 136

Posted by Wende Wadsworth on Mar 9, 2021 5:21:21 PM

In 2019, the AICPA issued Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) No. 136, Forming an Opinion and Report on Financial Statements of Employee Benefit Plans Subject to ERISA. SAS 136 prescribes certain new performance requirements for financial statement audits of ERISA employee benefit plans.

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Topics: Audit & Assurance

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

Fiduciary Focus: Target Date Funds

Posted by Wende Wadsworth, Audit Shareholder on Oct 27, 2020 2:41:16 PM

Target date funds (TDFs) have become an increasingly popular investment choice for many retirement plan participants. According to a recent estimate by Bloomberg Law, participants currently hold about $1.4 trillion in TDFs.

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Topics: Audit & Assurance

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