In this session, we’ll provide an overview of the key provisions of the CARES Act and SECURE Act and address the impact of their major changes from an audit perspective. We’ll cover the specific provisions of both Acts and their impact on qualified retirement plans, evaluate planning and risk assessment considerations and consider how COVID-19 has impacted EBP audit risk assessments.
In this session, you’ll learn the new audit and accounting standards impacting employee benefit plan audits, including SAS 136, forming an opinion and reporting on financial statements of employee benefit plans subject to ERISA and ASU 2018-03, as well as fair value disclosures. We’ll also discuss best practices from an audit, accounting and reporting perspective.
While the pace of new retirement legislation has slowed, there remains an enormous amount of work for sponsors, recordkeepers and auditors following the SECURE Act, the CARES Act, the CAA and the ARPA. In this session, you’ll review changes relevant to 2020 plan year audits and discuss recently issued distribution guidance from the Department of Labor (DOL), as well as plan document restatement issues and traps. You’ll also hear a primer on partial terminations – an unfortunate “hot topic” arising out of the pandemic.
In this session, we’ll discuss the work done regarding plan audits and Form 5500 filings, as well as changes to the 2020 Form 5500 to align with SAS 136. We’ll also cover common reporting deficiencies and tips on how to help your clients be compliant with ERISA, examine why some audits of employee benefit plans are deemed deficient and what you can do to help make sure your audits are satisfactory.
In this session, we'll discuss key considerations, risks and challenges surrounding auditing in a remote environment, such as understanding the Plan's electronic environment, audit risk considerations, and reliance on electronic reporting and audit evidence. We'll also review examples of risks, challenges and options in typical plan audit areas, as well as some of the challenges of performing audits remotely and establishing reliance on electronic reports and evidence.
In this session, we’ll provide an in-depth assessment of retirement plan designs available, tax savings options and ongoing requirements for effective administration. We’ll also discuss considerations of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) requirements.
In this session, we’ll discuss good plan governance, why it matters, litigation risks, best practices and not-so best practices.
Marcus Aron, CPA, CGMA, is the acting chief of the division of accounting services for the Employee Benefits Security Administration (ESBA). With over 30 years of experience working with audits of ERISA-covered plans, he is responsible for the day-to-day implementation of EBSA’s CPA Firm Inspection Program, providing technical assistance to plan filers and plan professionals, and providing ERISA-related accounting and auditing expertise within EBSA.
Melissa G. Critcher, CPA
Charlotte, North Carolina
Melissa is a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants (NCACPA). She has served in various roles with the NCACPA including member of the Board of Directors, committee member for the Accounting and Attestation Committee as well as local chapter positions.
Melissa’s background in accounting includes more than 15 years experience in public accounting specializing in auditing defined contribution and defined benefit employee benefit plans as well as manufacturing, distribution and professional service organizations. Her public accounting experience includes a position as a senior audit manager with Greer & Walker, LLP in Charlotte, North Carolina, a manager at a regional firm in Raleigh, North Carolina prior to re-locating to Charlotte. Melissa also worked with a local firm in Winston-Salem. During her career, Melissa has been responsible for managing the employee benefit plan niche, marketing and business development and conducting in-house training seminars.
Since 2002 Melissa has led discussion seminars on the AICPA’s Audits of 401(k) Plans for the NCACPA. Additional seminars include Audit Documentation and Review, Employee Benefit Plan Audits, Small Business Audits, etc.
Kimberly Flett, CPA, MST, QKC, is a partner at ERISA & Tax Financial Services, LLC where works extensively with medical plan consulting, including welfare benefit plans and specializes in the Affordable Care Act. With 25 years of experience in ERISA, including international and regional CPA firms, she has led professionals in all aspects of qualified plans, including government and tax compliance, ERISA consulting, technical review, internal quality control, and retirement plan design and administration. Flett has also been a compliance expert assisting audit employee benefit plan practices, in addition to a technical advisor for national ERISA answer desks and leadership teams. Her client expertise comprises all industries including nonprofit, healthcare, professional service firms and manufacturing sectors and her clients have encompassed solo entrepreneur businesses to Fortune 50 companies.
David Guadagnoli is a tax partner in the Boston office of the law firm of Sullivan & Worcester LLP. Guadagnoli is a graduate of the Boston University School of Law and has an MBA and an LLM in Tax, also from BU. Guadagnoli specializes in employee benefits and represents employers, individuals and advisors on a wide variety of employee benefit issues. He is well versed in all aspects of retirement plans including nondiscrimination testing issues, plan recordkeeping and conversion issues, fee analysis and fiduciary issues, IRS and DOL audits and the use of self-correction and agency-approved correction programs. Guadagnoli is a regular speaker and commentator at seminars and conferences.
Brandon Long is an AV preeminent-rated employee benefits attorney who serves as the leader of the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group at McAfee & Taft in Oklahoma City. Representing regional and national clients with thousands of employees, including large publicly traded corporations and governmental entities, clients seek Long’s advice for practical, creative solutions to complex problems, as well as his ability to make highly technical concepts understandable to executives, employees and other lawyers. In addition, his achievements have earned him inclusion in the Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Oklahoma Super Lawyer and The Best Lawyers in America (employee benefits/ERISA law). Long was also selected by Best Lawyers as the “Oklahoma City Employee Benefits (ERISA) Lawyer of the Year” for 2021, an honor only given to a single lawyer in each legal specialty in each market.?
Jake Parente is an assurance senior manager in the Asset and Wealth Management Practice at PwC’s Boston office. A designated employee benefit plan specialist within PwC’s Employee Benefit Plan Audit Practice, he serves clients relating to employee benefit plans, registered investment companies, collective investment products and other financial services companies. In addition, Parente has served many employee benefit plan clients, including 11-k and non-11-k, full scope and limited scope audits, and defined contribution and defined benefit plans, in a variety of industries, including asset management, higher education, insurance, biotechnology and computer technology.
Amy Sheridan is a partner in the Tax Department of Sullivan & Worcester's Boston office. She concentrates her practice in the employee benefits and executive compensation area and is experienced in addressing documentation and compliance issues for welfare plans (including federal health care reform and HIPAA privacy and security requirements), qualified retirement plans and individual retirement accounts. Additionally, Sheridan designs and reviews nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements, including for compliance with Internal Revenue Code Sections 409A and 457A.
Gwen Stoute, CPA, is an assurance partner at HoganTaylor LLP and has over 20 years of experience in public accounting. She presents at national and regional conferences on a variety of topics related to employee benefit plans. A member of both the planning committee of the annual AICPA's National Conference of Employee Benefit Plans and the Executive Committee of the AICPA's Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center, Stoute has also served as a board member for the Southwest Benefits Association and the Employee Benefits Institute.
Michele Weldon leads PwC's Employee Benefit Plan Audit Practice. She is a partner in the Asset Management industry group of the Assurance Practice in PwC's Boston office. She has specialized in employee benefit plan and ERISA collective investment fund audits and regulatory filings since 1990. Weldon has more than 50 Boston office employee benefit plan clients and provides consulting to engagement teams across the U.S. She assists PwC’s National office in developing employee benefit plan practice aids and in resolving auditing, accounting and reporting issues. She is a frequent speaker at industry conferences on employee benefit plans. She also assists in developing and teaching in-house training sessions on the industry. She is currently serving as a member of the AICPA’s Employee Benefit Plans Expert Panel and is also a member of the Audit Guide Revisions Task Force. She served a three-year term on the DOL’s Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Plans. Weldon received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and MBA from Babson College.