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Understanding the   Audit Process

The audit process Pooler CPA Group incorporates is not intimidating or overwhelming. During each phase, YOU choose when you have time to work on the audit. Below is some guidance on how the audit proceeds:

Short Pre-Planning Conversation

This part consists of a short 10 to 15 minute conversation regarding some broad and a few specific details of the Plan. This is to assist in getting the engagement letter and a few other documents worded correctly prior to them being sent to you.

YOU choose when this conversation occurs.

Planning Phase

The planning phase is when a Smartsheet is sent to you and all of the parties involved in the Plan (which includes the Third Party Administrator/Record-keeper and any other parties involved with the Plan). This is basically an online, secure portal that resembles an Excel spreadsheet that you can drag and drop documents and leave comments. 

YOU choose how soon you want to get started and when to upload documents.

Notice that all parties in the Plan are sent the Smartsheet in order to make the process much easier on you and your teams in Human Resources and Payroll. 

This phase typically takes about a week, depending on how quickly information is loaded onto the Smartsheet 

After a majority of the the information is completed and placed into the Smartsheet, we will look through all of the information and move into the fieldwork phase.

Fieldwork Phase

The fieldwork phase consists of working through all of the items we have received on the Smartsheet and pulling sample selections to test. The samples will assist in testing the most critical areas of the Plan. These areas consist of eligibility, distributions, loans (if applicable), participant deferrals, and company contributions. There may be other areas that need additional testing depending on the Plan, but these are the most significant ones on the majority of defined contribution plans. 

A phone conversation takes place as well to go over any internal control concerns and to go over some management representation questions.

The testing phase usually takes about a week to two weeks, 

Again, YOU choose how soon you want to upload information into the Smartsheet . 

Wrap-up and Completion 

This phase consists of wrapping up any loose ends, like some remaining documents needed to complete the audit.


After all the loose ends are tightened up, a draft of the financial statements, internal control memo, and communication to those charged with governance are sent along with the management representation letter. 

After the drafts are reviewed and approved, the management representation letter is signed and sent back to us and a final version of all of the fore-mentioned documents are sent to you. 

This phase occurs within just a few days of the fieldwork phase wrapping up. 

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