Author archives: Karen Keller

November 14 , 2018 | Posted by Karen Keller |

Compilation, Review or Audit: Select the Right Level of Assurance

The term “assurance” refers to how much confidence lenders and other stakeholders have that a company’s financial statements will be reliable, informative and in conformity with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) or another financial reporting framework. Higher levels of assurance require more in-depth procedures performed by the CPA when evaluating a company’s financial statements.…

September 13 , 2018 | Posted by Karen Keller |

DOL has Increased Scrutiny of Defined Benefit Plans

Sponsors of defined benefit plans — commonly known as pensions — might be facing tighter scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Labor. Just last year, at an ERISA Advisory Council meeting, the agency’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) announced that it had ramped up pension audit operations in its Philadelphia office and later decided to…

July 17 , 2017 | Posted by Karen Keller |

Use Management Letters to Improve Your Business

Audited financial statements typically come with a surprise bonus that you might not be aware of: the management letter. Take a few minutes to review this letter. It generally contains advice on ways to make your business more efficient and profitable — and less risky.

What’s required

Auditing standards require auditors to communicate in…

February 16 , 2017 | Posted by Karen Keller |

Simplified Accounting for Goodwill as Early as 2017

The FASB recently issued ASU 2017-04, Intangibles – Goodwill and Other: Simplifying the Test for Goodwill Impairment (ASU 2017-04), which simplifies the accounting rules used by publicly traded companies for measuring goodwill impairment.  Under existing rules, the measurement of goodwill impairment involves a two-step process.  Step 1 entails comparing the fair value of an entity’s…

October 23 , 2013 | Posted by Karen Keller |

Employee Benefit Plans – Aiming for the Target

Are target date funds right for your plan?

Target funds are mutual funds in which funds are invested based on a particular target date — usually the participant’s anticipated retirement year. While target funds aren’t a new option, there’s uncertainty from many retirement professionals about them. In fact, since the market downturn in 2008, target…

April 25 , 2013 | Posted by Karen Keller |

Does Your Plan have the Right Vesting Schedule?

A plan sponsor’s predetermined vesting schedule defines the amount of ownership a plan participant has in employer contributions. Vesting schedules can vary by retirement plan. One of the main reasons a plan sponsor may choose to add or change a vesting schedule is to attract and retain employees.

Vesting basics

When thinking about vesting, remember…

401k Sponsors: Avoid Mistakes with Timely Deposits

In any qualified retirement plan, money comes in and money goes out. And an area that garners Department of Labor (DOL) attention is what’s known as timely deposits. The DOL actively enforces timely deposits of elective deferral contributions. To avoid problems, here’s what you need to know.

What are the requirements?

Generally, plans appoint a…