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Date / Time / Location

Thursday, May 24, 2018
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Registration: 7:30 AM

Pines Manor2085 State Highway 27
Edison, NJ 08817

CPE Credits

  • 8.00 CPE Credits in AA

Package Pricing

E-Materials Option: Save $20 and download your own materials.
  • $239.00 - Member
  • $339.00 - Non Member
Manual Option: You will receive a printed manual.
  • $259.00 - Member
  • $359.00 - Non Member
Webcast: New for 2018! Attend this conference virtually.
  • $239.00 - Member
  • $339.00 - Non Member
Employee benefit plans continue to be an area of focus. Attend this annual conference and receive practical guidance on hot-topic issues and developments from national authorities and industry experts. New this year: Cybersecurity, Case Studies, and Investments.

Designed For

CPAs involved in the auditing of employee benefit and pension plans.


  • Have your questions answered by the U.S. Department of Labor
  • Explore cybersecurity issues and how they affect you
  • Interactive learning through case studies and Q&A


Registration and Continental Breakfast

Opening Remarks
David R. Dacey, CPA – WithumSmith+Brown PC

Accounting & Auditing Update
David Dacey, CPA, and Sheri Wronko, CPA - WithumSmith+Brown PC
This session will discuss the latest changes to GAAP, GAAS and PCAOB professional standards and will provide an overview of new AICPA audit quality center resources available to improve overall audit engagement quality. Specific topics will include, but not be limited to:
  • Master trust and certain fair value disclosure requirements
  • New PCAOB auditor reporting and Form AP reporting requirements
  • Audit performance reminders and AICPA resources

Susan Hicks, CPA - AICPA
Learn about new resources and developments in EBP audits:
  • Proposed audit standard on EBP audit reports
  • EBPAQC activities and new tools and resources
  • AICPA Enhanced Audit Quality initiatives affecting EBP audits

U.S. Department of Labor Update
Michael E. Auerbach, CPA – U.S. Department of Labor
Robert Lavenberg, CPA, JD, LL.M. - ERISAworks, LLC

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. This will include:
  • Update on DOL activities.
  • Audit quality issues and how to avoid the most common pitfalls.
  • How the auditor universe has changed over the past five years.
  • Reporting compliance issues auditors should be aware of.
EBP Legal Update
Frank W. Palmieri, Attorney – Palmieri & Eisenberg.
This program will consider the changes to the IRS Determination Letter Program and the actions that may be required to replace Determination Letters when conducting qualified retirement plan audits; the status of the DOL Fiduciary Rules, the need to help clients identify when they are paying excessive fees for Section 401(k) recordkeeping and investment services to minimize potential litigation and to satisfy their fiduciary obligations to participants; and use of the IRS Voluntary Correction Program (“VCP”) to correct qualified retirement plan errors when discovered on audit.


Auditing Investments in an Employee Benefit Plan – Panel
Kriste DeAngelo, CPA, Brenda DeSaro, CPA, and Robert W. Reilly, CPA – EisnerAmper LLP
As employee benefit plans continue to invest in more complex investments, auditors routinely encounter challenges understanding and auditing these investments. This session will present a panel of seasoned employee benefit plan auditors who will share practical insights and will discuss key issues and considerations faced when auditing investments.

Cybersecurity Risks for Employee Benefit Plans
David J. Rosenbaum, MBA – Citrin Cooperman, LLP
With a focus on Employee Benefit Plans and the plan sponsors and administrators, this session will present insights into the current cybersecurity-threatened landscape, key operational objectives of a cybersecurity program, representative federal and state cybersecurity regulatory requirements, and recommended best practices and controls that should be designed, implemented and audited to help assess, manage and mitigate cybersecurity risks.


Employee Benefit Plan Audit Group Practice Issues
Kenneth A. Bagner, CPA, MST and Elizabeth B. Harper, CPA – Sobel & Co. LLC
Learn best practices for an efficient and effective EBP audit group. Discuss common audit deficiencies and solutions to improve the quality and effectiveness for various areas noted below:
  • engagement letters
  • communication to those charged with governance
  • planning and risk assessment
  • importance of a planning meeting
  • preliminary analytical review procedures
  • internal controls
  • use of SOC reports
  • management representation letter
  • audit reporting
  • internal inspections
  • peer review

Beyond the audit, discuss areas impacting plans including:
  • common plan errors made by sponsors and TPA's
  • plan fees and benchmarking
  • common plan administrator issues



Advance Preparation


Additional Notes

Webcast: Attend this conference virtually with this new participation option. Login instructions will be sent 1-week and again 24-hours in advance.
Pre-Registration Closed

Online pre-registration for this event is now closed.

Scott Albert

Scott Albert
US Department of Labor

Kenneth Bagner

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.

David Dacey

David R. Dacey, CPA

David R. Dacey, CPA, is the partner in charge of Withum’s Technical Resources Group, the group which oversees A&A quality within the firm. Dave is based in the firm’s New Brunswick office and has over 30 years of professional accounting and auditing experience. Dave is a certified public accountant in the state of New Jersey. Dave also heads Withum’s accounting and auditing policy CPE committee and is responsible for researching and disseminating updates on technical accounting and auditing pronouncements to the Firm’s professional personnel. His experience spans many industries, including various aspects of manufacturing, wholesale and distribution, and service industries including the legal and medical professions, construction and retail.

Dave received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Rutgers University, Newark. Before joining Withum, Dave worked with a large regional firm, and with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). He is a member of the AICPA, where he has participated in various task forces of the SEC Practice Section Peer Review Committee. He is also a member of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) and is a frequent presenter at various NJCPA educational seminars, including their annual ERISA conference for 2010 through 2017. Dave resides in Somerset County, NJ.

Kriste DeAngelo

Kriste DeAngelo, CPA
EisnerAmper LLP

Kriste Naples-DeAngelo is a Partner in the firm’s Pension Services Group. With more than 25 years in the public accounting profession, she is responsible for managing numerous employee benefit plan audits and consulting with plan sponsors. She is integral in the design of continuing education courses and the training of the firm’s staff on employee benefit plan audits. She is instrumental in the design and maintenance of the master engagement templates used firm-wide. She has extensive knowledge of accounting and technical reporting standards, and has assisted clients with their annual audit and reporting requirements for both defined benefit and defined contribution plans. Her management skills, coupled with her auditing and employee benefit plan experience, provide clients with superior service, organization and knowledge. She works with plans for both public and private company plan sponsors and assists public companies with all aspects of SEC reporting, compliance and filings, including 11-Ks.

She has gained a reputation as an expert speaker on employee benefits and frequently presents on national webcasts, regional teleconference calls and seminars, and Continuing Professional Education courses. In addition, she has written articles, blogs and presented to various professional groups on a variety of employee benefit plan topics.

She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and serves on their Employee Benefit Plan Expert Panel. In addition, she is a member of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA), American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA), the New Jersey Chapter of the Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (WEB Network) and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

Mrs. DeAngelo graduated from Kean University with a B.S. in Management Science and earned her M.B.A. from Centenary College. She has also been an instructor of financial services for the Small Business Development Center at Raritan Valley Community College, which is directed towards entrepreneurs, start-ups and established businesses, and has been an Adjunct Professor at Centenary College teaching undergraduate accounting courses.

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Brenda DeSaro

Brenda G. DeSaro, CPA
Senior Manager

Brenda DeSaro is a Senior Manager in the firm’s Pension Services Group. She has over 15 years of experience, handling the related pension plan audit and consulting requirements for a broad client base. She efficiently and accurately manages all types of pension plan audits. Brenda 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. Brenda 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, Brenda attends seminars to keep abreast of unique ERISA, DOL and AICPA employee benefit plan issues. She has presented to various professional groups on employee benefit plan topics. She is also very active in teaching and planning continuing professional education courses.

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Elizabeth Harper

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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Susan Hicks

Susan W. Hicks, CPA
Senior Manager

Susan W. Hicks, CPA is a Senior Manager with the AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center. She is responsible for all Center activities, including member recruitment and retention, member communications, technical support to the Center’s Executive Committee, and serving as liaison to the DOL. She also staffs the AICPA Employee Benefit Plans Expert Panel. Prior to joining the AICPA, Ms. Hicks was a manager at Touche Ross & Co. She obtained her B.S. in Accounting at the University of Northern Colorado.

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Robert Lavenberg

Robert A. Lavenberg, CPA, J.D., LL.M

Bob Lavenberg has more than thirty years of experience with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and related business advisory services. His expertise spans reporting, government compliance and assessment of tax implications for plans, including qualified retirement, health, welfare, and fringe benefit plans. As a National Assurance Partner for an international accounting firm, Bob focused on employee benefit plan (EBP) audit quality for his clients and the firm's 1,900+ plans. Bob is a past chair of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) EBP Audit Quality Center and the two annual AICPA National EBP Conferences. Bob was also an active member of the AICPA's EBP Expert Panel. Bob has written articles for professional journals, contributed to internal employee benefit plan audit trainings and is a frequent speaker on various technical issues for industry and professional organizations.

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Frank Palmieri

Frank W Palmieri, Esq.
Palmieri & Eisenberg

Mr. Palmieri has over 36 years of experience in applying tax, ERISA, labor, employment and insurance laws to complex transactions, and helping employers understand the ramifications of their decisions. Mr. Palmieri has extensive experience in both tax and ERISA employee benefit matters, including the establishment, operation and termination of qualified retirement plans for public and privately held companies and not-for-profit entities; implementation and review of executive compensation and equity compensation programs; nonqualified deferred compensation plans for taxable and tax-exempt organizations; healthcare and cost containment; design of Section 125 cafeteria plans; HIPAA compliance; U.S. and foreign compensation programs; mergers and acquisitions; retiree medical and COBRA issues; and employee benefits litigation.

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Robert Reilly

Robert W. Reilly, CPA
EisnerAmper LLP

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 Rosenbaum

David J. Rosenbaum, MBA
Citrin Cooperman & Company, LLP

David Rosenbaum is a principal at Citrin Cooperman and a practice leader of the firm’s Technology and Risk Advisory Consulting group. He has more than 40 years of experience in the information technology field and is a 3rd generation entrepreneur.

David served as CEO, president and chief technologist at RCS, which joined Citrin Cooperman in 2015. Prior to forming RCS, Dave enjoyed a successful career on Wall Street managing and building front- and back-office cutting-edge technology systems for a variety of prestigious clients including Merrill Lynch, Chase Manhattan Bank and First Wall Street Corporation.

Dave has consulted on business issues related to technology for a large variety of organizations including both privately held and publicly traded companies. He has particular expertise in designing and implementing technology solutions for domestic and international companies with multiple operating offices or locations.

David has been quoted in numerous publications and has written articles that have appeared in the New York Enterprise Report, the Westchester Business Journal and the Westchester County Bar Association Newsletter, and he recently authored a chapter in a book published by the New York State Bar Association.

David serves as president of the Westchester Business Network, as a member of the Steering Committee of the New York Business Forum, as a member of the Mercy College Legal Studies Advisory Board, as former honorary chair of the Westchester County Bar Association Technology Committee, as former board member and current pro-bono treasurer of The Theater Within, and as president of the Ardsley Estates Civic Association.

Dave holds an M.B.A. in Management Theory and Organizational Behavior from New York University’s Stern School of Business, and a B.A. in Mathematics and Physics from Adelphi University.

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Sheri Wronko

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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