Employee Benefit Plan Audits

TWHC is well-versed in the field of employee benefit plan audits. We are committed to helping clients with their 401(k) plan audits, pension plan audits, and other retirement plan issues. Our professional audit teams are experienced in working with all forms of employee benefit plans, such as defined benefit and defined contribution plans, including 401(k) and 403(b) retirement plans, money purchase plans, and profit-sharing plans.

TWHC is a member of the AICPA’s Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center (EBPAQC). The AICPA established the EBPAQC to help CPAs meet the challenges of performing quality audits in this unique and complex area. Employee benefit plan audits include pension, health, welfare, and 401(k) plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) under the regulatory authority of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).


As a Member of the EBPAQC, TWHC Must:

  • Designate an audit partner to have firm-wide responsibility for the quality of the firm’s ERISA employee benefit plan audit practice.
  • Have all audit partners of the firm residing in the United States and be members of the AICPA.
  • Establish a program to ensure that all ERISA employee benefit plan auditors and engagement personnel possess current knowledge, appropriate to their level of involvement in the engagement, of applicable professional standards, rules and regulations for ERISA employee benefit plan audits.
  • Establish policies and procedures specific to the firm’s ERISA employee benefit plan audit practice to comply with the applicable professional standards and Center membership requirements. These policies and procedures must be documented and appropriately communicated.
  • In addition to meeting the quality control standards requirement for monitoring, establish annual internal inspection procedures that include a review of the firm’s ERISA employee benefit plan audit practice by individuals possessing current experience and knowledge of the accounting and auditing practices specific to ERISA employee benefit plan audits. Make publicly available information about its most recently accepted peer review.
  • Periodically file with the Center information about the firm and its ERISA employee benefit plan audit practice and agree to make such information available for public inspection as determined by the Executive Committee.

During a benefits plan audit, our auditors and professionals gain a thorough understanding of the plan and its internal controls in order to tailor our approach and achieve a cost-effective and collaborative audit. One area of particular focus is compliance monitoring. In order to comply with DOL and ERISA regulations, certain audit steps, which would not be required absent those regulations, are performed. In addition, as part of every employee benefit plan audit performed, a senior member of our compensation and benefits group performs a review of the IRS Form 5500, plan documents, compliance testing results, and other information, focusing on assessing the accuracy of the IRS Form 5500 and compliance with certain DOL and ERISA requirements. Through this process, we are able to provide valuable insight into the compliance activities of your plan and assist in avoiding compliance deficiencies.

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