Employee Benefit Plan Audits

Employee benefit plan audit specialists

Compliance + insight

Ensure financial integrity.
Protect plan participants.

Of all CPA audits, retirement plan and ESOP audits hold the most potential for severe penalties assessable to plan fiduciaries or sponsors. As a result, selecting a qualified, independent auditor is of extreme importance to the plan administrator. A quality audit helps ensure the financial integrity of a plan and acts to protect plan participants and fiduciaries. It also helps a plan administrator carry out their legal responsibility to file a complete and accurate annual return and report. Boyum Barenscheer’s employee benefit plan specialists have strong knowledge of the requirements affecting employee benefit plans and will provide an independent review and insights to help you fulfill your obligations.

We provide audit services for the following plans

  • 401(k) offered by for-profit organizations
  • 403(b) offered by tax exempt organizations
  • Profit Sharing
  • Defined benefit plans
  • ESOP
  • Plan consulting

Other services used by our employee benefit plan audit clients


EBAQC (Employee Benefit Audit Quality Center of the AICPA)


What is the 80-120 participant rule and how does it affect our plan?

If the number of eligible participants at the beginning of the Plan year is between 80 and 120, then the Plan Sponsor may elect to file the same type of 5500 (large or small Plan) that was filed in the prior year. For instance, if the number of eligible participants at the beginning of the Plan year does not exceed 120 and a small plan 5500 was filed for the previous year, then that same small Plan 5500 can be filed again this year. If the number of eligible participants at the beginning of the Plan year exceeds 120, then a large Plan 5500 must be filed. The large Plan filing must include the audited financial statements.

What does ERISA compliance mean?

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) is a federal law that safeguards qualified retirement plans. These include 401(k), profit sharing and defined benefit plans. Plans that are ERISA compliant, must have a written document and a summary plan description that explains the plan provisions to the participants. The Plans are also required to inform the participants of any material changes that occur within the plan and ERISA sets forth when these documents should be delivered to the participants. ERISA compliance also requires the employers to provide certain information to the Department of Labor. This is done through the filing of the Form 5500.

What areas will be covered in an audit of a retirement plan?

The main areas covered in our retirement plan audits include: Plan Contributions, Participant eligibility testing, Discrimination testing, Plan distributions, Plan loans, & Compliance with Plan provisions. Our goal as auditors of your retirement plan is to conduct a quality audit while limiting our interference with your day to day activities. We will provide a list of requests for documents well in advance of the scheduled audit dates. We will be available to answer any questions you may have. In many cases, we can limit the amount of requests you will need to fulfill by working directly with your service providers to obtain many of the documents we need. In the end, we will have an in-depth understating of your Plan processes and we can provide you suggestions based on our extensive experience that will make your processes more efficient and effective.

Contact Jake for more info

Jake Kriegler, CPA

Jake Kriegler joined Boyum Barenscheer in 2005 directly from the University of Minnesota. From the onset, Jake’s presence in the audit department was quickly defined.  While he works in all areas of audit, he has become a leader of the team that services nearly all the firm’s retirement plan audits…