401(k) Audits are NOT a Commodity

June 5, 2019

 

 I do NOT offer a commodity.

 

I have seen many different firms’ websites and marketing propoganda eluding to 401(k) plan audits as a mere commodity, and I disagree.

 

These audits are far more than your standard commodity, such as wheat, rice, gold, oil and so forth.

 

Are these audits traded on a commodity exchange platform?  Can you buy and hold them, hoping their value increases so they can be sold for a gain?

 

No and No.

 

The value lies in the audit procedures performed during the 401(k) audit and the comment letter noting the issues found, including communication with plan management throughout the audit.  

 

The value lies in interactions with the plan sponsor and how to point out issues that are affecting their plan or those that could cause major compliance issues now and down the road.

 

The value lies in “walking” with plan management to ensure they understand all the moving parts of their retirement plan and how one issue at, for instance, the third-party administrator can affect participant accounts.

 

The value lies in ensuring the financial statements are prepared properly with all supporting supplemental schedules and the proper auditor’s opinion.

 

Don’t get me wrong, the financial statements and the auditor’s opinion are extremely important, but the heart of the audit lies in audit procedures performed that link ALL the intricate details of how the Plan operates between the third-party administrator and/or recordkeeper, the custodian, financial advisor, and the plan sponsor. Auditors see ALL the moving pieces, rather than just the one-sided view of the giant puzzle the rest of the parties involved in the plan observe. This is where the true gold lies and how all parties involved can reap some hearty gains.

 

Auditors have an immense responsibility to ensure the Plan is operating in accordance with the plan documents, is compliant with current regulatory bodies (such as the DOL), and any insight into how the Plan can operate more efficiently and effectively to benefit the plan sponsor, but most importantly the plan participants.

 

So, do not come to me with the idea that 401(k) plan audits are a commodity. Plan auditors are the first line of defense for plan participants, and I do NOT take that lightly.

 

If you are looking for a plan auditor to get your audit done quickly and at the lowest possible price, please don’t call me.

 

If you are looking for a plan auditor that will “walk” with you along the audit process while offering unparalleled, Southern style hospitality for a reasonable price, call me. 

 

When I say I am dedicated to improving your 401(k) plan audit experience, I mean it.

 

Pooler CPA Group

 

Known for their fixed fees

 

Professional, friendly service from the founder

 

And the companions, known as the 401k.9s

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