Audits & Assurance

Employee Benefit Plan Audits

The Right Plan

Recent studies have identified significant deficiencies both in retirement plan operations and in plan audits. Accordingly, the Department of Labor (DOL) has dramatically increased and revised its enforcement strategies, which can leave plan sponsors with costly penalties. It is extremely important to engage an audit firm with highly experienced, qualified professionals to perform a retirement plan audit.

Olsen Thielen’s Employee Benefit Plan Group works with companies across a wide range of industries to conduct audits and provide consulting for their retirement and pension plans. Utilizing our extensive experience with 401(k), 403(b), pension, retirement, ESOP, and health and welfare plans, we assist employers with retirement plan administration, plan design, and other consulting needs.

Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

Enacted in 1974, ERISA set minimum standards and compliance for most employee benefit plans. Over the years, these plans have received increased scrutiny from the Department of Labor (DOL), including the establishment of audit requirements.

As a plan sponsor, you have the fiduciary responsibility to file an accurate and timely annual Form 5500. Once meeting the audit threshold of 120 participants, your fiduciary responsibilities include the selection of the independent auditor and attaching an audit report with the filing. Increased DOL scrutiny of audit quality has found that ERISA audit deficiencies occur at an excessively high rate. In response, the DOL has increased its enforcement to find and correct audit deficiencies. The DOL can impose penalties against the plan sponsor for attaching an unsatisfactory audit to the Form 5500, so selecting a quality auditor that specializes in employee benefits is more important than ever.

Olsen Thielen takes pride in the expertise and efficiency we have delivered in ERISA-related services over the past 25 years. We are a proud member of the AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center (EBPAQC) which demonstrates our commitment to being leaders in the employee benefits area.

Member, EBPAQC

We are committed to adhering to the highest quality standards by voluntarily agreeing to the Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center (EBPAQC) membership requirements, which include designating a partner responsible for the employee benefit plan audit practice, establishing quality control programs, performing annual internal inspection procedures, and making our peer review report findings publicly available.

Our employee benefit plan audit practice includes:

Contact a Specialist

Employee benefit plan specialists are also available internally. These specialists are Olsen Thielen staff who have dedicated their careers to maintaining a high degree of knowledge in ERISA compliance and administration. All of our auditors undergo extensive training to keep them abreast of the specific rules and regulations that govern retirement plan audits. To learn more, contact one of our industry specialists:

Articles & News

The IRS recently released the 2025 Health Savings Account (HSA) amounts, which have been adjusted for inflation.
Minnesota's new Paid Leave Program goes into effect on January 1, 2026. Employers should be aware of the new program - who is eligible, information on funding and benefit structure of the program, and their responsibilities including the initial reporting deadline coming up on October 31, 2024.
If you’re a business owner without a retirement plan, establishing one is simpler than you may think. And there still may be time to set up a tax-favored retirement plan for LAST year, depending on your situation.


We Value Your Privacy

This site may use cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work and others to improve the user experience. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies and accept our privacy policy.