Megan Schmehl – Herbein Intern
Hello again everyone! Well it is now my second post for the summer part of my internship here at Herbein and Company and after last week my brain is full of new things I am learning. Last Monday I was given my first in the office Employee Benefit Plan (EBP) audit to tackle. These audits are mainly done in the office and then there is usually a day or two dedicated to field work. There is a form called the Form 5500 Series that must be filed for the company’s annual report/return. An obligation that goes hand in hand with filing the 5500 is an audit required by Federal law. Federal law requires that any employee benefit plan with 100 or more participants to have an audit performed. The audit begins with receiving an employee census report and from there a selection is made of employees to test during the audit. Statements are pulled from the trust report for all of the employees chosen and also for employees chosen to perform tests. There are tests performed on loans, distributions, fees, and investments. This is just a brief description of what goes on for an EBP audit.
I must admit I was pretty intimidated when I got my first assignment since I did not what to expect and how I was going to work through the audit. It took me a while to figure out how all the tests were performed and what documentation I needed for them. I made sure I asked plenty of questions to my in-charge so I could better understand what exactly I was doing. Eventually, it started to click which was a great feeling! I ran into some issues but that was expected. Overall I think my first one went very well and now I am currently working on my second one. It is definitely going a lot smoother than the first one since I have a better understanding of things.
I am hoping by getting more experience I will get very good at these audits because so far I am really enjoying them. It is also a nice change of pace from a regular audit and being in the office more is great, too. This just goes to show that you never know what to expect while being in this profession because there is such a broad spectrum of services we can provide to clients. Whoever said accounting must be a boring job is most definitely wrong. Who can be bored when you are always learning something new every day?!
I will be back later this week, I hope everyone enjoyed!