Employee Benefit Plan Audits

401(k) rules and regulations are constantly evolving, and navigating this complex landscape can be challenging. Our team of experienced employee benefit plan auditors make the 401(k) audit process simple and efficient. Our goal is to offer you a streamlined process with third-party communication — giving you more time to focus on your business, not filing through compliance documents.

Proud Member:

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

We tailor the process to consider your schedule, your priorities and your needs. We stay up-to-date on AICPA, ERISA, DOL and IRS requirements so that we are always experts in keeping your plan in line with current compliance standards. Our clients range from plans with only a few hundred participants to those with thousands of participant accounts. We are able to perform audits in every state, and we have the ability to conduct audits both on or offsite.

Sensiba has been a member of the AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center since its foundation in 2003. Additionally, we have received clean Peer Review reports from the AICPA every review cycle since the beginning of the Peer Review process.

Who needs an employee benefit plan audit?

A company’s size determines its need for a third-party employee benefit plan audit. Generally, a plan is considered a “large” plan and requires an audit when there are more than 100 participants as of the first day of the plan year. If the plan had less than 100 participants the previous year, but still has less than 120 participants in the current year, it can still be filed as a small plan and forego the audit requirement. This rule applies so long as the eligible participant count remains less than 120.

New Audit Standard for Employee Benefit Plans: ERISA Section 103(a)(3)(c)

New standards have been released for reporting on financial statements of employee benefit plans (EBP). The changes are intended to enhance the quality and transparency of ERISA plans for both the participants and reporting agencies (i.e. ERISA, DOL, etc.) by prescribing certain audit procedures. Under the new standard, “limited-scope” audits will now be referred to as “ERISA Section 103(a)(3)(c)”. This change is effective for all EBP plans with years ending after December 15, 2021.

How long does an audit take?

The duration of an audit depends on the complexity and size of the plan. Sensiba ensures a smooth and efficient process, completing the audit in three distinct phases from the initial planning meeting to the issuance of financial statements.

Employee Benefit Plan Audits

Mar 23

Phase 1 – Planning

  • Kick-off meeting – Your team to meet with Sensiba to agree upon critical events timeline and preliminary request list
  • Obtain preliminary requested schedules and Plan documents, access to 401(k) Plan administrator website
  • Obtain understanding of how the company processes transactions within the Plan, and prepare confirmations and provide testing selections


Mar 23

Phase 2 – Fieldwork

  • Sensiba team to perform participant and transaction testing, interviews with client team members
  • Conclusion of fieldwork will include a status meeting of the audit and next steps

Mar 01

Phase 3 – Financial Reporting

  • Sensiba team will process and assist Plan management in preparation of financial statement schedules, review of Form 5500, audit completion procedures and wrap up open items from Phase 2
  • First draft of financial statements available at end of Phase 3
  • Circulate draft management representation letter and final draft statements for company approval


Related Employee Benefit Plan Audits Resources


Effective 2024 Planning for a 401(k) Plan Sponsor


10 Tips for 401(k) Compliance


Limited-Scope Audit Changed to ERISA Section 103(a)(3)(c)


Responsibilities of 401(k) Sponsors


People holding a sign that says retirement plan

Defined Benefit Pension and Contribution Plans


Three people looking at one and another.

Employee Benefit Plans: Do you Need a Form 5500 Audit?

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