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Regulatory, reporting and disclosure requirements surrounding employee benefit plan auditing are growing and changing. Audit deficiencies are more common than firms care to see. The risk of plan failures or fraud is always present for plan sponsors. Learn about the complexities, trending issues and steps you can take to be up to date on regulatory, audit and accounting requirements, perform quality audits and serve your clients with timely and accurate advice.
All CalCPA Education Foundation conferences include free Wi-Fi, continental breakfast, networking lunch and afternoon refreshments.
Wireless Internet access, continental breakfast and plated lunch will be provided at this event and are included in your registration fee.
FOR INDIVIDUALS: Value-Priced Education (VPE) for CalCPA members.
FOR GROUPS: Coupon 10 and Share 100*—Great for nonmembers and firms.
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Welcome with Bertha Minnihan, CPA | Conference Chair, Moss Adams, LLP
EBP in LA LA Land—An Update with Marcus Aron | Department of Labor, Marilee Lau | KPMG (Retired Partner), Troy Atkinson | Vavrinek, Trine, Day & Co., LLP, and Darlene Bayardo | BDO
The Nutty Professionals (Common Pitfalls and the Fix) with Jill Kitchin | Hood & Strong, LLP, Marilyn Ryding | Marilyn Ryding Retirement Plan Consulting, and Meredith Sesser | Meredith J. Sesser, a Professional Law Corporation
The Plan Breaks the Internet with Darlene Bayardo | BDO and Mary Espinosa | BDO
"Buckle Up, It's Gonna Be a Bumpy Ride" (Mergers, Acquisitions and Changes) with Marilyn Ryding | Marilyn Ryding Retirement Plan Consulting, and Mark Wirth | RSM, LLP
Is the Plan a House of Cards? How Is Your Deck Stacked? with Nancy Manary | RSM, LLP
It's a Wrap (Ask the Experts Panel)
Curtain Call (Adjourn)
Senior Auditor, Division of Accounting Services
Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, D.C.
Mr. Aron has nearly thirty years of experience in working with audits of ERISA-covered plans. He is responsible for the day-to-day implementation of EBSA’s CPA Firm Inspection Program, providing technical assistance to plan filers and plan professionals, and providing ERISA-related accounting and auditing expertise within EBSA.
Mr. Aron is a certified public accountant and holds a B.B.A. degree with a major in accounting from the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
Troy is a Partner in Vavrinek, Trine, Day, & Co., LLP and Chair of the Employee Benefit Practice Group. He has been a CPA since 1993 and specializes exclusively in auditing the financial statements of Employee Benefit Plans, predominantly multiemployer plans.
He attends Trustee meetings to report on the annual audit and is responsible for managing the Practice Group. Troy has also been engaged as an independent consultant to investigate fraudulent transactions unique to Employee Benefit Plans, as well as financial transactions that violate Employee Benefit Plan laws.
He has been a speaker at the CalCPA Employee Benefit Plans Conference as well as the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Annual Conference. He is also active in the Western Association of Accounting Firms as Chair of the Business and Audit Group, and participates in several annual professional conferences that focus on industry auditing issues. Troy also enjoyed volunteering on the Menlo Park School District and Olympic Club audit Committees.
National Assurance Director, Employee Benefit Audit Plan Practice
Darlene, a Director in the National Assurance Department, has more than 20 years of experience with national public accounting firms and private accounting. She has extensive knowledge in the audits of employee benefit plans. As a lead technical resource in BDO’s National Employee Benefit Plan Audit Practice, her responsibilities include ERISA audit quality and risk management. The majority of her time is dedicated to technical consultations, development of audit and accounting guidance, resources and training programs for employee benefit plan auditors, industry development communications and quality reviews for BDO’s National Employee Benefit Plan Audit Practice. She instructs national training courses and regularly contributes to BDO’s periodic newsletter, EBP Commentator. Darlene currently serves on the AICPA Employee Benefit Plans Expert Panel and she was an active member on the AICPA Technical Standards Subcommittee of the Professional Ethics Executive Committee.
Her employee benefit plan experience has included all types of defined contribution, defined benefit and health and welfare plans; numerous plans with one sponsor and various service providers; 11-K filings; and master trusts. She advises and assists clients in the area of benefit plan accounting and compliance and has extensive experience in the preparation of financial statements and footnotes for employee benefit plans.
Mary Espinosa is a Director in BDO’s Orange County Assurance group. She specializes in ERISA plan audits and has extensive experience auditing defined contribution (401(k), 403(b), and employee stock ownership plans (ESOP)), defined benefit, and health and welfare plans. She also has extensive experience with 11-K audits for plans required to file with the SEC. She provides consultation and guidance on plan improvements, mergers and acquisitions, plan terminations, frozen plans, and correction of compliance failures. Her years of experience, technical capabilities, and focus on exceptional client service, make her uniquely qualified to deliver quality audit services for her clients.
She is a member of the National BDO Employee Benefit Plan Practice, and provides training to the firm’s professionals on benefit plan specific topics, develops audit programs used by engagement teams at both BDO and the BDO Alliance Network, and is involved in developing new benefit plan auditing methodology tools.
She frequently speaks on various accounting technical issues at both industry and professional organization venues, regularly contributes to BDO’s employee benefit plan newsletter and serves as a facilitator in national training events.
Jill Kitchin is an audit director in the San Francisco office of Hood & Strong LLP. She manages and oversees financial statement audits and other projects, ensuring that outstanding client service is provided. With more than fifteen years of public accounting experience, Jill has the technical knowledge and experience to assist clients improve their internal control policies and procedures, as well as assist with accounting-related projects and audits. She is also responsible for leading the internal education for the Firm’s Employee Benefit Plan Group. Her personal approach along with her commitment to quality has made her successful in providing excellent accounting services.
Marilee Lau provides consulting services and teaches various educational programs on accounting and auditing for employee benefit plans. She assists audit firms specializing in employee benefit plans by providing technical support and performing internal reviews of their EBP audit practices. Before retiring in 2009, Marilee was the National Partner in Charge of KPMG’s Employee Benefit Plan Audit Practice.
She is a founding member and a former Chair of the AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center’s Executive Committee which was established in 2004. Marilee was the 2011-2013 AICPA’s representative to the DOL’s ERISA Advisory Council. She has served on the AICPA’s Employee Benefits Plans Experts Panel and was the chair of the EBP Audit Guide Overhaul Task Force. She assisted the AICPA in writing the ESOP chapter for the EBP Guide as well as the pension chapter for the State and Local Government Guide. She was also a member of AICPA Ethics Subcommittee for employee benefit plans from 2012-2016. Currently Marilee is heading up the task force to write the Multiemployer chapter for the EBP Guide and she is a member of the AICPA Peer Review Sub-Committee for EBP and performs oversight reviews of the Peer Reviews for EBP audits. She has also served on the Accountants Committee for the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.
She is a member of the AICPA, California Society of CPAs, and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and a frequent speaker for numerous professional conferences and programs. She is a graduate of Santa Clara University with a BS in economics and an MBA in accounting.
Meredith J. is among the nation's leading authorities on employee benefits law, ERISA and benefits taxation. With 18 years of pension and ERISA experience, she routinely assists businesses and non-profit organizations in the preparation, implementation, operation and termination of retirement plans such as defined benefit and cash balance pension plans, 401(k) profit-sharing plans and 403(b) plans (plans for public education organizations, governments, religious institutions and non-profit organizations).
Ms. Sesser represents employers in Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) controversies, including investigations, audits, and voluntary compliance to prevent or correct plan disqualification and fiduciary breaches (EPCRS, VCP, DFVCP and VFCP). She counsels clients on inadvertent filing errors, resolves inaccuracies, and works vigorously to successfully abate IRS penalties charged to employers with late or negligent filings of Form 5500 (Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan). In addition, she advises employers on employee benefit claims.
Ms. Sesser provides advice on business structuring and employment relationships, including how to determine and analyze controlled and affiliated groups as well as leased and staff employees, to ensure that a business owner's retirement benefits are not subject to scrutiny by the IRS. She is the "go-to" lawyer for many third¬-party administrators.
221 S. Figueroa St., #400
Los Angeles, CA 90012
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