Tuesday, January 12, 2021

A Quick Guide to Your First Broker Dealer Audit

broker dealer audit

The requirements for broker dealer audits exist to protect investors from unregulated activity. Though broker dealers are expected to conduct their own internal investigations, external entities agencies are necessary for objectivity.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Working with another nonprofit? Here’s how to divide up financial reporting.

Working with another nonprofit? Here’s how to divide up financial reporting - California Nonprofit Audit - Ernst Wintter & Associates LLP

Sometimes, nonprofit organizations will work with other companies to accomplish things better together. With these arrangements, both companies can save money and do their job more efficiently. Working with other companies is often a great idea, but it is critical that your accounting departments know how to accurately report these collaborations to the government. Reporting obligations vary based on how these ventures are structured, and knowing the difference helps when it is time for nonprofit audit services to be performed.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Failed to file your Form 990s? Here’s how your nonprofit can regain tax-exempt status

how your nonprofit can regain tax-exempt status - California Nonprofit Audit - Ernst Wintter & Associates LLP

Not-for-profit companies must stay up to date on filing form 990 or 990-N with the IRS in order to maintain tax-exempt status. If at all possible, it’s best to avoid losing tax-exempt status in the first place, because failing to uphold California nonprofit audit compliance requirements means your company may be subject to corporate taxes on revenue, penalties, back taxes, and other problems.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Thoughts on Finding a New Executive for Your Nonprofit

Thoughts on Finding a New Executive for Your Nonprofit - nonprofit audit services - Ernst Wintter & Associates, LLP

One of the things we talk to businesses that use our nonprofit audit services is the necessity of planning ahead for an executive search. Although your company might not be concerned about the immediate loss of your executive, knowing how you will find the next one in advance is advantageous. That’s because it normally takes many months to find a new executive, even if the perfect candidate is someone your organization already knows well. It’s best to be prepared..

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Strategic planning: Not exclusively a vision of the future

Strategic planning: Not exclusively a vision of the future - nonprofit audit services - Ewall

As a complement to our California nonprofit audit services, we help companies with strategic planning. This term makes most people think of long-term planning, but there’s another approach to consider as well. Real-Time Strategic Planning (RTSP) allows your nonprofit more flexibility when looking to the future. Opportunities and challenges can present themselves at any time, and nonprofits need to consider these when performing their missions. Let’s take a look at why your nonprofit might benefit from this approach..

Sunday, March 22, 2020

What Every Nonprofit Should Know About Issuing Receipts for Nonprofit Fundraisers

Nonprofit audit services - What Every Nonprofit Should Know About Issuing Receipts for Nonprofit Fundraisers

If you’ve run a nonprofit for any period of time, the chances are your company has held fundraisers. While these events are often a lot of fun and raise a large amount of money at the same time, they also involve careful reporting of donations and the issuance of receipts. At Ernst Wintter and Associates, our nonprofit audit services and tax guidance can help you and your nonprofit stay compliant. In the meantime, here is a summary of the IRS requirements for charitable events. First of all, what is a fundraiser for tax purposes? According to the IRS, a fundraiser is any event that’s outside of your nonprofit’s normal activities, and which is intended to raise money. This can include door-to-door merchandise sales, gala dinners, auctions, family fun nights, and similar events. Many nonprofit organizations hold these types of events a couple times a year, and they tend to be popular with donors.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Tips for Completing a 401k Audit

Offering a 401(k) plan helps create an attractive benefits package for keeping employees long term. Most employers with over 100 employees participating in the retirement plan will need to complete a 401(k) audit. As the owner of the company or plan administrator, preparing for the audit is crucial for a successful process.

Tips for a Successfully Completing a 401(k) Audit
A retirement plan audit can be a stressful time for company owners, record keepers, office managers, and employees. Implementing strict company procedures and following basic tips for completing a successful 401(k) audit will help ease the tension of the experience.

Keep Accurate Records
Preparing for a 401(k) audit should be an ongoing process throughout the fiscal year. Keep accurate records of all your employees. Know the types of documents your company needs for each full-time employee, part-time employee, apprenticeship participant, or temporary employee.

Keeping an accurate file for each employee reduces the chance of misinformation. Long-term employees may have lengthy files. Develop and place an outline or cover page for ease of viewing.
  • Update contact information for all employees
  • Record any changes in employment status including compensation increases, termination, or retirement dates
  • Name changes due to marriage or divorce proceedings
  • Plan participant details for each employee including loans, if applicable
  • Records of employees who opt out or terminate being part of the plan
  • Changes to the plan at employee’s request
  • Preview documents with needed employee signatures
  • Payroll journals with employee compensation and withholdings matching the 401(k) contributions

Contact an Independent CPA Firm
An independent accounting firm must perform the 401(k) audit. Your accountant or accounting firm is not eligible. Finding the right firm is crucial. An experienced firm will provide dates, guides, checklists, and other materials to help you with the auditing process. Ask your current accounting firm for recommendations.

Be Ready
Being prepared is a must. A late audit report may result in severe fines and penalties for your business. Alert your bookkeeper or office manager of the upcoming audit as soon as possible. An auditor may spend one day or a week reviewing your accounting practices to ensure compliance. Notification allows your staff to gather the necessary documents, amendments or other plan changes for a faster audit review.

Ask for the Checklist
Requesting a checklist from the auditor, accounting firm or the IRS helps in the preparation process. The checklist is generally part of the audit request letter. Using the checklist allows you to prepare needed documents or dismiss any non-applicable information.

Review Your 401(k) Plan
Go over your plan details including any amendments to ensure you are operating the 401(k) within the policy guidelines. Provide documentation of the original plan and any changes.

If you hold regular meetings to discuss any of the 401(k) investments, expenses or plan changes, keep minutes. Detail the topic of discussion, reasons for concern, and steps for addressing the issue. Document the names of employees or advisory board members participating in the meeting.

Being prepared for a 401(k) audit ensures successful completion. By starting to gather documents early, you will be able to find and address any errors. Fixing the errors prior to the audit helps contribute to a successful experience.  The experienced CPAs at Ernst Wintter & Associates can help your organization through the audit process and ensure you are better prepared next year.  Contact us today to schedule an appointment!