Save time: How to get organized before your next audit

February 15, 2023


We know, nobody loves to do an audit. (If you did, you’d be working here.)

401(k) audits may look time-consuming, but nothing about them is left to chance. The more organized you are, the easier they can be.

It’s never too late to take action and make things a little simpler—but the sooner you start, the better.

Let’s look at a few things you can do today:


Start getting ready as soon as possible

A good auditor will request certain resources from you right away.

You’ll need:

  • Trust statements to your internal records 
  • Your signed, current 401(k) plan documents 
  • Your written investment policy 
  • Fidelity bond 
  • SOC 1 reports

Do you use a third-party 401(k) recordkeeper? Grant your auditor access in advance to cut days off the audit’s turnaround time, leading to less stress for you.


Maintain good personnel records – especially in the cloud

There are lots of misconceptions about personnel records.

While you should maintain records for terminated employees for no less than seven years, you must keep all records for anyone who has an account in your 401(k) plan. That’s true regardless of their termination date.

Employees often fail to move their 401(k). Don’t be left holding the bag.

Moving to a new cloud solution? Be sure you understand how it generates records—and how to save those records indefinitely. Many cloud solutions delete old, unused files, which can spell disaster.


If you switch payroll providers, save your historical data

When you switch payroll providers, you’ll usually have access to your existing records for a limited time only: it may be 90 days, 60 days, or less. Afterwards, providers may charge you for access—or they might delete your files.

Get ahead of the issue with a plan to identify and backup critical data.


Choose an auditor you can trust

Remember: your audit provider is one of your biggest allies. It’s much easier to handle issues with your provider instead of dealing with I-9 auditors from the Department of Homeland Security.

Suffice to say, they aren’t as friendly—and they can levy big fines.

If you’ve never used an audit service before, take time to make an informed decision. Ask plenty of questions to ensure your provider has the experience to support your company’s specific needs.

Contact Cassell Plan Audits today for more information.

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