Hiring a Payroll Auditing Firm, Question 9: Have you Done Payroll Audits for our Industry or Similar Industries?

How a prospective payroll auditing firm answers this questions shows how well they did their homework in preparing for the interview. A firm answering “yes” simply has to detail its experience with the industry. A firm who answers “no” must explain how the audits that will be performed are similar to their experiences. A detailed explanation is essential if the answer is “no.” Stating that all payroll audits are the same is not sufficient. All payroll audits are not […]

Tips for Using Electronic Records

Posting by Phil Vivirito

There are many times when an employer will send electronic records, as well as times when an employer will provide electronic records to the auditor in the field. Here are some useful tips to help ensure you have the correct records for your audit.

Records are usually received in a PDF format or non-PDF format which include Excel, Word, or text file.

Whichever format you receive documents in, it is best practice to make a copy of them. […]

Hiring a Payroll Auditing Firm, Question 8: Do you Have a Dedicated Payroll Audit Staff?

Posting by Larry Beebe, CPA

Ideally the payroll audit firm should have staff that do nothing but perform payroll audits. There are several advantages in having full time payroll auditors:

The payroll audits are usually performed more efficiently by staff who are totally dedicated to this type of work. Auditing staff who are assigned periodically to do payroll audits usually do not understand how to operate efficiently and effectively due to the unique nature of the work.
Payroll audit reports […]

Need a Locksmith Anyone?

Posting by Ashley Williams

I arrived at the employer prepared to do a usual payroll audit, but things did not go as planned. Upon my arrival, the employer notified me that they only had a third of the records I needed for the audit. The rest of the records needed were locked in a room that no one had the key for. They hoped to have the key by the end of the day.

I thought that they must be trying […]

Hiring a Payroll Auditing Firm, Question 7: What are the Qualifications of Your Payroll Audit Staff?

Posting by Larry Beebe, CPA

When evaluating potential payroll auditors, experience and training is more important than the degree they hold; payroll auditors rarely hold an accounting degree. Plan representatives selecting an auditing firm should ask how the firm obtains new payroll auditors, how it trains them, and the experience of the auditors.

A firm should develop the following qualities in a payroll auditor:

Understands the payroll audit process. The payroll audit is designed to test the employers’ compliance with the […]

Legal Update: Statute of Limitations for Unpaid Contributions

Posting by Larry Beebe, CPA

In Colvin et al v. United Flooring Inc. et al, a participating employer in a multiemployer plan was audited for a three year period and was found to owe delinquent contributions. The employer refused to pay and contended the plan’s claim was barred under the applicable six-year statute of limitations. The dispute centered on whether the statue started when the employer failed to make contributions or when the failure was discovered by the audit.

The court […]

Legal Update: Participants Not Allowed to Sue Trustees for Failure to Collect Employer Contributions

Posting by Larry Beebe, CPA

In Fox et. al. v. McCormick et. al., a U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia found that plaintiff participants in a multiemployer defined benefit plan could not sue the trustees of the plan for an alleged failure to collect unpaid employer contributions.

The plaintiff participants said the trustees knew about unpaid contributions, but failed to pursue reasonable collection efforts. The court said the plaintiffs had statutory standing to sue under ERISA, but the question was […]

Hiring a Payroll Auditing Firm, Question 6: How Long Does Your Typical Audit Take?

Posting by Larry Beebe, CPA

As part of this series, I am providing Plan Trustees with a list of questions they should ask when requesting proposals from payroll auditing firms.  Click here to view the full list of questions.

The amount of time required to perform a quality payroll audit varies considerably.  For example, the audit for a company with 30 employees should be scheduled for one half day.  Normally, in this half day, the auditor will be able to do […]

Two Supreme Court Cases Walk Into a Bar…

Posting by Andrew Staab

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two decisions affecting employee benefit plans. Although neither case dealt with payroll auditing, or were otherwise “landmark” decisions, they are worthy of mention for employee benefit plan fiduciaries and service providers. The key to both cases is chronology, or, when to act to preserve your rights. Not all of the legal issues of each case will be discussed in this blog post, but rather the more salient points are covered.

The […]

Under-reported Contributions: Checking for an Outdated CBA

Posting by James Capers & Ron Chandler, CPA

Over our many years of conducting payroll audits, we have found that some discrepancies are the direct result of outdated collective bargaining agreements (CBAs). In these cases, employers are reporting contributions based on the language of a CBA from five, ten and sometimes fifteen to twenty years ago.

Payroll reporting discrepancies may have nothing to do with the frequency of contract negotiations, but rather the tenure of certain employees involved in the reporting […]

Bond Beebe in now Withum

Bond Beebe is now Withum. This powerful union expands and enhances our capabilities and services. Read More>>