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February 6, 2024

Benefits of Fully Remote 401(k) Audit Services

Once your business reaches 80 to 120 employees, it must undergo an audit of its 401(k) plan, but securing a 401(k) audit firm’s services can be a challenge in certain locations. Engaging a local firm to handle the audit traditionally results in the auditor’s presence in your office, which can cause disruptions to daily operations. Remote 401(k) audit services offer businesses benefits such as enhanced security, access to experienced professionals and technology-driven convenience. No matter where your business is located, from Houston to Chicago to Boston and everywhere in between, a fully remote 401(k) audit service can provide your required audit. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Remote 401(k) audit services provide businesses access to experienced professional auditors beyond what your region has to offer
  • 401(k) audits must stick to strict deadlines, making finding a 401(k) audit firm a major priority to complete quickly in the year. Failure to act quickly can limit your pool of potential local firms, but remote firms aren’t restricted by geographical location
  • With the aid of technological advances, seamless communication with a remote auditor has never been easier or more secure, allowing documents vital to your audit to be exchanged electronically
  • Confidentiality is assured when it comes to your data and sensitive financial information via secure communication channels and data encryption protocols
  • A remote firm may have fewer overhead costs than a traditional brick-and-mortar firm, which can result in cost savings for their clients in comparison

Finding a 401(k) audit partner is a vital task, and it’s especially important to engage one early in the year to ensure your business meets the strict guidelines set by the IRS, ERISA and the Department of Labor (DOL). As important due dates get closer, it’s not uncommon to find that 401(k) audit firms have already reached capacity on their client workload. Engaging with a fully remote 401(k) auditor may help you find an auditor quickly to comply with regulations, helping you avoid costly fines and other late fees. In addition to being readily available, the following benefits can also be enjoyed if a company works with a remote 401(k) audit firm. 

Added Convenience with Equal Efficiency

While remote audits can be just as efficient as an on-site audit, an auditor working remotely won’t need to come into your workspace. There’s no need to accommodate them on-site, which frees up your conference rooms and other workspaces for your usual operations and reduces distractions. Furthermore, remote audits can be conducted at a time that is convenient for both parties, eliminating scheduling conflicts and reducing disruptions to your business operations.

Access to Experienced, Specialized Professionals Outside Your Region

Remote firms operate without geographical limitations, allowing you to choose from a wider pool of auditors. You may also find that you have access to specialized professionals with extensive knowledge and experience, well-versed in retirement plan regulations, compliance and auditing procedures. They can provide accurate and thorough audits, ensuring that your 401k plan is compliant with all legal requirements. Some firms can even provide additional education about how to keep your audit on track without costly delays.

Advanced Security Measures to Keep Your Data Protected

Due to their structure, remote audit firms tend to prioritize data security and confidentiality for clients. They employ advanced technological measures, such as powerful firewalls to prevent unwanted intrusions and data encryption so unauthorized users are unable to read or access the sensitive data. This ensures the security of all data needed for the audit. Client data is only available to authorized personnel and stored in encrypted databases or servers.

To keep client data safe during the submission process, firms use secure communication channels and enact encryption protocols to help eliminate the risk of interception or unauthorized access during transmission.

Learn more about 401(k) plan cybersecurity requirements.

Constant Contact Keeps Your Audit Moving Forward

Remote firms typically leverage various communication technologies to effectively collaborate with clients. They may utilize video conferencing, email, instant messaging or project management tools. Doing so helps to keep you informed about the audit progress while addressing any inquiries and providing timely updates. These channels of communication are vital to your ability to meet strict deadlines and allow you to act quickly to correct inaccurate or missing information before it’s submitted.

Potentially Lower Overhead Costs Translate to Client Cost Savings

Remote firms often have lower overhead costs compared to traditional brick-and-mortar firms. They don’t require physical office space, utilities or other associated expenses. As a result, they may offer their services at a more competitive price, enabling cost savings for your business. If your business operates in multiple locations, the cost saving can be even more significant because the auditor will complete the necessary work remotely without the need to travel between locations.

For more information on how our 401(k) audit team can help, request a free consultation below to discuss your unique 401(k) audit needs.

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