February 25, 2023

It’s March. Have You Scheduled Your 401(K) Audit Yet?

Article updated to include new information on 2/26/24:

Never mind that we’re in the middle of tax season and you have a million other things to think about. If you own a business that offers a 401(k) or another retirement plan, you need to be thinking about your annual audit – scheduling it, preparing for it, and successfully completing it. Now is the perfect time to get started.

What is a 401(k) audit?
Retirement benefit plans, including 401(k)s, are required to have an annual audit conducted by certified public accountants. At Weiss, we are experts in these sorts of audits, which are designed to catch errors and ensure compliance. At the end of the process, the audit report and financial statements are submitted with Form 5500, which is the plan’s annual filing to the IRS and Department of Labor.

Which businesses need a 401(k) audit?
An audit is only required if the plan has at least 100 eligible plan participants on the first day of the plan year. In 2023 new guidance was introduced to encourage more small business employers to offer workplace retirement accounts changing how employees are counted as participants in the plan. Moving forward, only actual participants in the plan are counted. In prior years employees were considered participants as soon as they satisfied the plan’s specific eligibility requirements, even if they had not enrolled or elected to join. Learn more about recent Form 5500 changes and who is required to file an audit.

What is Weiss’s process for 401(k) audits?
After decades of conducting these audits, our process has become streamlined, efficient, and effective. Read more about our process, how long it takes, and what we often find in these audits.

When are audits due?
The audit report and financials are due with the Form 5500 by the July 31 filing deadline, though extensions until October 15 are common.

How can businesses plan ahead?
Keep track of 401(k)-related documents throughout the year, including the most recent Form 5500, W-2s, loan requests and repayments, and distributions. Smaller companies should monitor the number of eligible participants, and all companies can consult with their 401(k) provider to help gather the necessary documentation.

Need more information? Contact our 401(k) audit team to learn more about how we can help with 401(k) audits.

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