New Accounting Job Openings 7/1/16

Job with hooks 2Did you just finish school and you’re looking to put that accounting degree to use? Been in the accounting world for a couple of years and looking for something better?

Carpenter, Evert and Associates CPA has a full-time permanent staff accountant position available. Carpenter Evert is a leader in nonprofit auditing and accounting in the Twin Cities. We are a close-knit group of professionals in a relaxed, flexible environment. Our benefits rival most larger firms, including generous PTO, financial assistance with continuing education and CPA exams, health insurance reimbursement, LTD and life insurance, and schedule flexibility that includes the option to work remotely.

The right candidate will be detail-oriented, a quick learner, and be able to work independently. Duties will include, but are not limited to:

  • Participating in audit engagements by performing fieldwork, reviewing client information, and compiling data
  • Working closely with a variety of non-profit and for-profit clients
  • Preparing audit reports and assisting with financial analysis
  • Preparing corporate and non-profit taxes
  • Performing other accounting-related duties as needed

Job Requirements:

  • Four-year accounting degree
  • Up to 5 years of experience in accounting-related work or internships
  • A desire to work in public accounting
  • The willingness to work toward getting CPA license
  • Access to own transportation to travel locally to client sites
  • Demonstrated computer skills and experience in QuickBooks and Microsoft Office

If this sounds like the job for you, send your resume and a cover letter to cate@carpenterevert.com.

 

 

WHEN YOU NEED A RETIREMENT PLAN AUDIT

audit process words This is the time of year that companies are finishing up their annual retirement plan audits. The filing of IRS Form 5500 is due on July 31 for plans with calendar year-ends.

In general, any retirement plan exceeding $250,000 in assets must file a 5500.  But how do you know when you are ready for a retirement plan audit?

With some exceptions, all retirement plans with 100 or more eligible participants at the beginning of a plan year require an annual audit.

Keep in mind that eligible participants aren’t just your employees who are actively participating.  It also includes eligible employees who don’t participate.  So, if you have 100 employees and only 50 of them are participating in the retirement plan, you still need an audit. Total participants also include people who have left the company but are still entitled to plan benefits and deceased individuals who have beneficiaries receiving benefits through the plan.

Once your plan reaches 100 eligible participants, an annual audit must be performed by a qualified third-party CPA firmlike Carpenter, Evert and Associates.  The results of the audit are included in your Form 5500 filing.

A retirement plan audit will look for assurance that certain requirements are met, including:

  • All employees have the same access to participation in the plan
  • Specific requirements of the plan are done in accordance with the written terms of the plan
  • The plan’s assets are valued accurately
  • Plan transactions are compliant with current laws

As you approach 100 plan participants, be aware that many variables can affect the need for a retirement plan audit, including participant exceptions, the 80/120 rule, and specifics of your company’s plan. A retirement plan audit expert at Carpenter, Evert and Associates can help you determine when you will need an annual audit and how to plan ahead for the process.

To contact a retirement plan audit specialist, Click Here or call us at (952) 831-0085.

For more information on filing your Form 5500, go to the IRS Form 5500 Corner.

CHOOSING AN AUDITOR FOR YOUR RETIREMENT PLAN

audit process words

In general, employee benefit plans, or pension plans, with 100 or more participants are required by law to have a yearly audit. These audits need to be performed by an independent, qualified CPA. There are a number of questions you should ask when considering an auditor, including inquiries about the CPA firm’s experience, certification, and independence.

The Department of Labor has outlined a list of things to consider when hiring an auditor for your retirement plan. Their recommendations include:

  • An employee benefit plan auditor must be a certified public accountant in their state.
  • The auditor you choose to audit your retirement plan should not have any financial interests in the plan that would jeopordize an objective opinion.
  • The auditor you choose should be an expert in pension audits. Look for an auditor who is a member of the AICPA’s Employee Benefit Plans Audit Quality Center. They agree to meet specific training and expertise requirements.
  • Ask a potential pension auditor about other clients, and call references directly if possible.

Once you choose an employee benefit plan auditor and have completed the audit, the auditor will present the audit report. the Department of Labor suggests these questions when reviewing the report:

  • Have benefit plan assets covered by the audit been fairly valued?
  • Have plan obligations been properly stated and described?
  • Were contributions to the plan timely received?
  • Were benefit payments made in accordance with the plan terms?
  • Will any identified issues affect the plan’s tax status?
  • Were there any transactions prohibited under ERISA that were identified?

Carpenter, Evert and Associates offer a full range of retirement plan audit services. We are members of AICPA’s Employee Benefit Plans Audit Quality Center and have performed retirement plan audits for a wide range of clients. For more detailed information, contact our Retirement Plan Audit specialists at (952) 831-0085.

THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A FINANCIAL AUDIT, REVIEW AND COMPILATION

123At some point, most small businesses and non-profit organizations need a CPA for financial statement services. The type of service is determined by your organization’s needs. Often, banks require a full financial statement audit for lending and credit agreements. Other times, a simpler review or compilation is sufficient.

There are three main levels of financial statement services:

1. AUDIT

An audit is often required by an outside funding source or financial institution. Regulatory bodies like the Attorney General or United Way may also require a full audit. Sometimes an organization’s by-laws or board of directors specifies that an audit is done as part of your financial policies.

According to the American Institute of CPAs, “Audited financial statements provide the user with the auditor’s opinion that the financial statements are presented fairly, in all material respects, in conformity with the applicable financial framework. The auditor may also issue a disclaimer of opinion or an adverse opinion if appropriate.”

2. REVIEW

A review is a less costly and less involved process than an audit. There are times that financial institutions will accept a review instead of an audit. A review is often done to provide an organization’s Board of Directors and staff with an outside opinion of the financial statements prepared by management.

According to the AICPA,  “Reviewed financial statements provide the user with comfort that based on the accountant’s review, the accountant is not aware of any material modifications that should be made to the financial statements for the statements to be in conformity with the applicable financial reporting framework.” The big difference between an audit and a review is that “a review does not contemplate obtaining an understanding of the entity’s internal control; assessing fraud risk; testing accounting records, or other procedures ordinarily performed in an audit.”

3. COMPILATION

A compilation might be required by an outside source, but more likely it is used as a way to assist the organization in preparing financial statements in an acceptable form. The AICPA says, “Compiled financial statements represent the most basic level of service CPAs provide with respect to financial statements. In a compilation engagement, the accountant assists management in presenting financial information in the form of financial statements without undertaking to obtain or provide any assurance that there are no material modifications that should be made to the financial statements.”

For a more in-depth discussion of audits, reviews and compilations, click here for the AICPA’s paper, What is the Difference Between a Compilation, a Review and an Audit? A Comparative Overview.

Contact your Carpenter, Evert and Associates audit expert for more information on audits, reviews and compilations at (952) 831-0085.