At this special one-day conference for plan auditors, receive practical guidance on hot-topic issues and developments from national authorities and industry experts. Find out how to mitigate risk while remaining compliant with current standards.
CPAs involved in the auditing of employee benefit and pension plans.
Registration and Continental Breakfast
David R. Dacey, CPA – WithumSmith+Brown PC
Accounting & Auditing Update
Denise Finney, CPA & Robert Reilly, CPA - EisnerAmper LLP
Attendees will obtain an understanding of key accounting and auditing considerations affecting 2016 employee benefit plan audits. This session will include discussions of existing guidance as well as practical insights on implementing new and proposed Accounting Standards for employee benefit plan financial statements.
EBP Legal Update
Melissa B. Kurtzman, J.D., LL.M and Steven J. Friedman, J.D., LL.M. - Littler Mendelson P.C.
Today, with the uncertainty in the new administration and the closing of the IRS determination letter program to ongoing plans, fiduciary governance of and operational compliance of retirement plans has never been more important. Littler will address key issues with governance, including communications and education as well as key points to make certain your client has a qualified retirement plan.
U.S. Department of Labor Update
Michael E. Auerbach, CPA – U.S. Department of Labor
The U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) is the principal federal agency responsible for the oversight of employee benefit plan compliance. Hear a first-hand account of compliance issues the DOL is currently facing and the steps they are taking to ensure adequate oversight of employee benefit plans.
Current Issues in Employee Benefit Plans
David Ira Waddington, CPA – Friedman LLP
This session will discuss a number of different topics including:
- Party-in-interest prohibited transactions defined
- DOL guidance on Cybersecurity considerations for benefit plans
- Recent change in hardship distributions substantiation requirements
- 403(b) plan documents update
- Reasons for terminating a defined benefit plan
EBP Audit Practice Resources for Your 2017 Audits and Quality Initiatives
Ian A. MacKay, CPA, CGMA - AICPA
Learn about the latest EBPAQC tool and resources and the latest developments with the profession’s Enhanced Audit Quality Initiative and its effect on EBP audits.
Let’s Play SOC Jeopardy
Sheri Wronko, CPA and Michael Yarrow, CPA – WithumSmith+Brown PC
What better way to take an in-depth look at audit requirements related to service organization control reports than to play game of Jeopardy. Please join Sheri Wronko and Mike Yarrow as we play America's favorite game geared towards SOC reports.
Smart Fiduciaries: Rules of the Role
Kenneth A. Bagner, CPA, MST & Elizabeth B. Harper, CPA – Sobel & Co., LLC.
Examine best practices for strengthening Plan fiduciary responsibilities. Discuss who is considered a Plan fiduciary, what makes someone a fiduciary, the different types of investment and administrative fiduciaries and the roles and responsibilities of a Plan sponsor. Learn strategies to minimize fiduciary risk and prudent practices and policies. Plan fiduciaries will gain value from takeaways that include a list of best practices to implement immediately. Plan auditors will gain a better understanding of the role of a Plan fiduciary and possible recommendations to strengthen the internal controls of a Plan.
Online pre-registration for this event is now closed.
Michael E. Auerbach, CPA
Chief, Division of Accounting Services
US Department of Labor
Michael E. Auerbach, CPA, Chief, Division of Accounting Services, U.S. Department of Labor. As the Chief, Division of Accounting Services, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Mr. Auerbach's responsibilities include providing ERISA related accounting and auditing technical expertise within the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration. He is also the liaison with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and other professional organizations. Mr. Auerbach is a certified public accountant and earned his B.S. in accounting from the University of Maryland.
Kenneth A. Bagner, CPA, MST
Sobel & Co. LLC
Ken Bagner, CPA, MST is a Member of Sobel & Co., LLC. He is in charge of Employee Benefit Plan Audits at the Firm. His career with Sobel began in 1999 and over the years he has served diverse niches including commercial real estate, waste management, manufacturing, wholesale, not-for-profit organizations, and employee benefit plans. Clients value both his technical abilities and his “hand-on” approach to addressing the unique aspects of each client’s business as well as his ability to combine an expertise in both accounting and tax to provide them with the business advice they need.
In his spare time, Mr. Bagner served as an adjunct professor at Rutgers University where he taught both taxation for the undergraduate level and the Certified Financial Planners Program. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA). Currently, Mr. Bagner serves on the Board Trustee for the NJSCPA Scholarship Fund. He is a past member of the NJSCPA Board of Directors serving a 2-year term (2008-2010).
Mr. Bagner is a 1999 graduate of Montclair State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting. In 2003 he graduated Summa Cum Laude from Rutgers University where he earned his Masters in Taxation. He is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma, the highest honor society for collegiate schools of business.
Denise L. Finney, CPA
Denise Finney is a Director in EisnerAmper's Pension Services Group who dedicates 100% of her time to employee benefit plan audits. Throughout her 15 years of public accounting experience, she has specialized in assisting clients with their annual audit requirements regarding employee benefit plans.
She has served both public and private clients in a wide variety of industries with both defined benefit and defined contribution plans, including 401(k)s, 403(b)s, 11-Ks, ESOPs and welfare benefit plans. She consults with clients and is responsible for supervision and review of staff and work product, including detailed testing. Ms. Finney is involved in the maintenance of the firm’s master engagement templates as well as design and delivery of annual firm-wide continuing professional education in the employee benefit plan audit area.
Throughout the year, she attends seminars to keep
abreast of unique ERISA, DOL and American Institute of
Certified Public Accountants employee benefit plan issues. She has presented to various professional groups on employee benefit plan topics.
Steven J. Friedman, J.D., LL.M.
Littler Mendelson, P.C.
Steven J. Friedman advises employers on a variety of aspects of employee benefits law including:
- The structuring and implementation of qualified and non-qualified retirement plans
- Welfare and fringe benefits programs
- Early retirement programs
- Severance plans
He also has extensive experience counseling employers on Employee Retirement Income Security Act and tax compliance issues related to employee benefits plans, dealing with the governmental agencies that regulate such plans and construing employee benefits laws, such as the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. Additionally, Mr. Friedman advises clients on the manner in which employee benefit plans may be terminiated, modified or restructured and has proficiency in plan conversion issues.
Mr. Friedman has broad experience dealing with the legal, financial and administrative issues arising under executive compensation arrangements, including:
- Deferred compensation
- Supplemental executive retirement arrangements
- Stock-related compensation
- Stock appreciation rights
- Phantom stock plans
- Stock option plans
He also analyzes issues related to section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code. His expertise extends to employee benefits issues in connection with corporate transactions. A regular commentator to governmental agencies on pending legislation, he has also appeared on television and has been quoted in many national legal and business publications on employee benefits topics.
Prior to joining Littler Mendelson, Mr. Friedman spent nearly 10 years as benefits counsel for a major multinational electronics and entertainment company. He also worked as an adjunct professor at Baruch College where he taught a tax course on employee benefits in 2008. He earned his J.D. from Boston University and LL.M. from New York University School of Law.
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Elizabeth B. Harper, CPA
Member of the Firm
Sobel & Co. LLC
Elizabeth B. Harper, CPA joined Sobel & Co. in the fall of 2009, assuming the role of quality control manager. In July 2014 she was promoted to Director of Quality Control where she is responsible for reviewing all of the financial statements issued by the firm, along with client correspondence, ensuring the highest quality standards are met and the reports are in accordance with the established authoritative standards.
She is also dedicated to ensuring that Sobel & Co. complies with its internal quality standards. This includes involvement with the engagement teams during all phases of the work, personnel training and development, and monitoring of engagement quality. She is well skilled for this senior position, bringing with her insights gained based on her previous experiences at a Big Four firm, a local CPA firm and in private industry.
As a result of her broad array of responsibilities, Ms. Harper is also significantly involved in the Sobel &Co. Employee Benefits Plan Practice. She is particularly well suited for this because she previously served as the Employee Benefits Plan Resource manager at a Big four firm with both client and firm responsibilities.
By combining her perspectives from industry and public accounting, Liz can provide additional value to the firm and her clients. She is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, the New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJCPA) and an active member of the NJCPA Accounting and Auditing Interest Group where she will serve as co-chair beginning in May 2015. An active alumnus, she is involved in recruiting efforts at Montclair State University, where she graduated with a bachelor’s in business administration and accounting.
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Melissa B. Kurtzman, J.D, LL.M.
Shareholder and Member
Littler Mendelson, P.C.
Melissa B. Kurtzman, J.D., LL.M., is a shareholder and member of Littler Mendelson, PC’s employee benefits and executive compensation group. Her practice focuses on representing management on a variety of employee benefits matters including the design and implementation of qualified and non-qualified retirement plans and welfare and fringe benefit programs, employee benefits tax matters and employee benefits in mergers and acquisitions.
She's acted as an expert witness in a federal bankruptcy matter in connection with qualified plan issues. Additionally, she represents plan sponsors in employee benefit plan IRS and DOL audits. She assists plan sponsors in self-audits of employee benefits plans prior to or in connection with government audits.
Prior to joining Littler, Ms. Kurtzman served as a partner at Wolf Block LLP where she focused on employee benefits. She was also the former director of ERISA compliance at a large retirement plan administration company.
She earned her B.A. at Michigan State University, her J.D., at the University of Toledo College of Law and her LL.M. at the George Washington University Law Center.
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Ian A. MacKay, CPA, CGMA
Ian MacKay is responsible for directing the Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center; monitoring Federal government activities (other than tax and governmental accounting) and communicating issues to AICPA members, providing technical assistance on federal legislation; liaising with Federal government agencies on audit and accounting matters, and monitoring and commenting on proposed regulation.
Mr. MacKay is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and former adjunct professor at George Washington University.
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Robert W. Reilly, CPA
Robert Reilly is a Director in EisnerAmper's Audit and Assurance Services Practice. He has over 20 years of auditing and accounting experience in both the private and public sectors. He is a member of the firm’s Pension Services, Technology, and Manufacturing and Distribution Groups.
Mr. Reilly provides auditing and consulting services to clients in a wide range of industries. Working with companies in the technology, manufacturing and distribution industries, he has a strong understanding of the issues important to these companies. He also works extensively with employee benefit plans, including defined contribution, defined benefit, and health & welfare plans. He designs and delivers in-house training and speaks and writes on a variety of topics important to his clients and the sectors they operate in.
Prior to joining EisnerAmper, Mr. Reilly was an Audit and Accounting Manager at a regional accounting firm in New York City, and an Audit Manager at a Big Four accounting firm.
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David Ira Waddington, CPA
David Waddington, CPA is a partner at Friedman LLP with over 25 years of public accounting experience, founded and leads Benefits 21 LLC, a Friedman LLP company, providing consulting, design and administration of client pension plans, including defined contribution, defined benefit, deferred compensation, and IRS qualified flexible benefit plans.
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Sheri Wronko, CPA
Sheri Wronko is a senior manager based in WithumSmith+Brown’s New Brunswick office and has 17 years of experience in auditing ERISA plans including 401k, 403b and defined contribution plans. She is a certified public accountant in the State of New Jersey and a member of the Firm’s Employee Benefit & Pension Plans Services Group. She manages over 80 ERISA plan audits for the Firm’s New Brunswick office.
Ms. Wronko is a contributing writer to WithumSmith+Brown’s ERISA Knowledge Corner and has been a presenter at the firm’s ERISA training.
Ms. Wronko is a graduate of Penn State University, University Park, PA, where she earned a bachelor of science degree in Accounting. She is a member of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
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Michael D. Yarrow, CPA
Mike Yarrow is a senior manager at WithumSmith+Brown, based out of the firm’s Princeton, NJ office, and has over 16 years of public accounting experience. His expertise includes auditing several defined benefit and defined contribution plans ranging over $1 billion in plan assets with annual public and private filings. He services closely held corporations with both domestic and international operations and has extensive experience with financial reporting of companies with subsidiaries and other related entities.
A member of the Withum’s Employee Benefit & Pension Plans Group, Mr. Yarrow leads the firm initiative in staff training of audit techniques and procedures used in audits of employee benefit plans. He is also a contributing author to Withum’s ERISA Knowledge Corner and presenter on the ERISA Sunscreen video blog.
Mr. Yarrow is a graduate of Elon University with a BA degree in accounting and minor in business administration. He is a member of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
(AICPA), and also presents at various state accounting societies.
Also active in the community, Mr. Yarrow is involved with Advancing Opportunities (formerly Cerebral Palsy of New Jersey) as the current Audit Committee Chairman and Treasurer of the Board of Trustees Finance Committee.
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