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Thursday, May 13, 2021 Live Webcast

Audits of Employee Benefit Plans Conference (E2105220)

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM EDT


8.0 CPE Credits in AA


COVID-19 has significantly impacted your audits of 2020 employee benefit plans. This full-day program will advise you on the latest standards and changes to plan audits as result of the SECURE Act and CARES Act.


CPAs involved in the auditing of employee benefit and pension plans


8-8:50 a.m.
Accounting and Auditing Update
Kevin Nardone, CPA, and Robert W. Reilly, CPA – EisnerAmper LLP
Obtain knowledge of essential accounting and auditing considerations affecting 2020 employee benefit plan audits. This session will include discussions of existing guidance with practical insight on implementing new and proposed accounting and auditing standards for employee benefit plan financial statements.

9-10:15 a.m.
EBP Legal Update: New Developments from the Courts, Congress and the Agencies
Christine Gottesman, Esq., Abby Natelson, Esq. and Brian Tremer, Esq.– Nukk-Freeman & Cerra, P.C.
This session will focus on:
  • The Supreme Court's 2020 ERISA rulings and what’s on the docket in 2021
  • Litigation trends: excess fees and everything else
  • DOL and IRS updates under the Biden administration
  • Legislative update: After the CARES Act and SECURE Act, what's next from Congress?

10:25-11:15 a.m.
A Close Look at Compensation and Non-Discrimination Testing in Qualified Plans
Brian Kane, CPA, QPA, QKA – Preferred Pension Planning
One of the most important aspects of retirement plan administration is ensuring that the proper compensation is being used as defined in the plan document. In this session, we will cover when a plan must use Section 415 compensation, the Safe Harbor and non-Safe Harbor definitions of compensation, and when the compensation ratio test is necessary. We will also cover the different non-discrimination testing requirements of 401(k) versus 403(b) plans, top-heavy testing, and case studies involving the required combined plan testing for cash balance and 401(k) profit sharing plans.

11:25 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Addressing the SECURE Act and CARES Act Provisions in 2020 Audits
Daniel Richardson, CPA, M.B.A. and Sean P. Linde, CPA - WithumSmith+Brown PC
This session will discuss retirement plan changes from recent legislation, notably the SECURE Act and the CARES Act, and highlight new areas of emphasis for auditors of 2020 plan year filings.

Lunch Break

12:45-2 p.m.
U.S. Department of Labor Update
Michael E. Auerbach, CPA – U.S. Department of Labor
Find out what’s going on at the Employee Benefits Security Administration's Office of the Chief Accountant. This session will include a discussion of the work done with regards to plan audits and Form 5500 filings, as well as changes to the 2020 Form 5500 to align with SAS 136. Learn common reporting deficiencies and tips on how to help your clients be compliant with ERISA. Also learn why some audits of employee benefit plans are deemed deficient and what you can do to help make sure your audits are satisfactory.

2:10-3 p.m.
Employee Benefit Plan Audit Considerations in a COVID World
Michael Gilchrist, CPA - RMSBG
The consequences caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on ERISA financial statement reporting and audit engagements are complex and have resulted in challenges for plan sponsors and auditors. This session will address the unique challenges faced by auditors during the upcoming ERISA season and the effects that the pandemic has on all aspects of the audit. From planning to reporting, employee benefit audits will be unlike any other in the past, and the auditor must have the tools to successfully audit in the COVID world.

3:10-4 p.m.
Top 10 Employee Benefit Plan Reporting Issues
Michael Kulick, CPA, M.B.A. and Donna Nevolo, CPA - WithumSmith+Brown PC
This session will identify and discuss 10 of the most common deficiencies noted while performing audits of employee benefit plans.








Michael Auerbach

Michael E. Auerbach, CPA

Chief Accountant, Division of Accounting Services

US Department of Labor

As the Chief Accountant, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Mr. Auerbach is responsible for managing the resources of the Office of the Chief Accountant and implementing various comprehensive, nationwide enforcement programs relating to certain provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). He also provides ERISA related accounting and auditing technical expertise within the Employee Benefits Security Administration and is the liaison with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and other professional organizations. Mr. Auerbach provides executive oversight and leadership for EBSA’s fiduciary oversight program for the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). The TSP is the largest defined contribution plan in the world, with assets of in excess of $500 billion and 5.0 million participants.

Mr. Auerbach is a certified public accountant and earned his B.S. in accounting, from the University of Maryland.

Michael Gilchrist

Michael Gilchrist, CPA

Sr. Manager


Michael Gilchrist, CPA, is a senior manager at RotenbergMeril servicing closely held businesses and their owners. He manages the firms' employee benefit plan audits. With over thirty years of diverse experience in public accounting and private industry, he is able to provide clients with comprehensive and expert client service. Michael serves on the NJCPA Accounting and Auditing Interest Group as the Employee Benefit Plan Subcommittee Chairman and as a Director of the Morris / Sussex Chapter Board of Trustees. He is involved with many community organizations and is a graduate of Seton Hall University.

Christine Gottesman

Christine Gottesman, Esq.

Nukk-Freeman & Cerra, P.C

Ms. Gottesman specializes in advising clients regarding all types of employee benefits and executive compensation matters. She counsels employers in the establishment and administration of qualified and nonqualified retirement benefit plans and welfare benefit plans including issues of plan design, compliance with ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code and fiduciary responsibility. She advises publicly and privately held corporations in the design and administration of executive compensation arrangements and equity-based compensation plans. Ms. Gottesman’s practice also includes representing employers in employee benefits matters arising in connection with corporation mergers, acquisitions and dispositions.

Brian Kane

Brian Kane, CPC, QPA, QKA

Business Development Manager

Preferred Pension Planning Corporation

Brian Kane is the Business Development Manager at Preferred Pension Planning in Bridgewater, NJ. He has 25 years of experience in the retirement plan field and has attained the designations of Certified Pension Consultant (CPC), Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA), and Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) from the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries. Brian specializes in retirement plan design and consults with clients to help determine the best type of plan to meet their goals and objectives.

Michael Kulick

Michael M. Kulick, CPA



Michael M. Kulick, CPA, MBA is a Senior Manager at WithumSmith+Brown. His public accounting experience includes auditing, financial statement analysis and preparation, as well as business consulting with a focus on privately-held entities. Mr. Kulick has extensive accounting and auditing experience including a concentration in businesses in the manufacturing, wholesale and distribution, information technology, and retail sectors. He has expertise in performing full and limited scope audits of employee benefit plans of publicly and privately held companies. He also serves on the WS+B Employee Benefits & Pension Plans Leadership Committee. Mr. Kulick attended Providence College and the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University. He is a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) and a member of both the AICPA and NJSCPA.

Sean Linde

Sean P. Linde, CPA



Sean P. Linde is a Manager at Withum, and has over 12 years of public accounting experience. Sean has specialization in the Firm's:

  • ERISA Service Line and Manufacturing, Distribution & Logistics Group.
  • Extensive experience in managing financial statement audits.
  • Frequent presenter at conferences and workshops on emerging accounting and ERISA topics.

Kevin Nardone

Kevin Nardone, CPA

Senior Manager

EisnerAmper LLP

Kevin Nardone is a Director in the Private Business Services Group at EisnerAmper, with over 10 years of experience in both the public and private sectors. He provides advisory services for privately held businesses and individuals including income tax compliance and accounting services.

Kevin manages engagement teams performing audit services for diverse clients, including those in the food and beverage, manufacturing and distribution industries, and construction companies. Additionally, he has experience in employee benefit plan audits, 401(k)s and defined benefit plans for single and multiple employers and knowledge and experience surrounding multi-employer benefit plans.

Kevin consults with clients and is responsible for the supervision and review of staff and work product, including detailed testing. He understands the reporting and regulatory requirements unique to these types of audits and stays abreast of changes, including recent accounting standards updates and required implementation.

Abby Natelson

Abby H. Natelson, Esq.


Nukk-Freeman & Cerra, P.C

Abby Natelson focuses her practice on management-side employment litigation and counseling. Ms. Natelson litigates discrimination, retaliation, wage and hour, and contract disputes in federal and state courts, and before administrative agencies. Additionally, Ms. Natelson advises employers on workplace issues, including the hiring and termination of employees, employee disciplinary action, accommodation and leave requests, and independent contractor classifications. Ms. Natelson partners with employers to create internal best practices for managing employee relations matters, investigates employee relations concerns, and drafts employment and separation agreements, employee handbooks and policies, and employee benefit plans.

Donna Nevolo

Donna A. Nevolo, CPA



Donna Nevolo, CPA is a manager in the Morristown office of WithumSmith+Brown. She has over thirteen years of experience in public accounting serving large, publicly held multi-national companies. She also has extensive experience with retirement plan auditing, not-for-profit entities, hedge fund and broker dealer audits. She is an ERISA Team senior audit manager and serves on the WS+B Employee Benefits & Pension Plan Leadership Committee. She is a contributing author of Withum ERISA Knowledge Center.

Ms. Nevolo began her career at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. She is a member of the AICPA, NYSSCPA and the NJCPA. She received her bachelor's degree in accounting from Mount Saint Mary's College and is a licensed certified public accountant in New Jersey and Connecticut.

Robert Reilly

Robert W. Reilly, CPA


EisnerAmper LLP

Robert Reilly is a Director in EisnerAmper's Audit and Assurance Services Practice. He has over 25 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.

Daniel Richardson

Daniel Richardson, CPA, M.B.A.

Audit Manager


  • Over 8 years of professional accounting experience, responsible for planning and conducting, audits, compilations, reviews, and other attestation engagements.
  • Specializes in providing services to the A/E and professional services industry, with diverse experience in industries including manufacturing, distribution, insurance and mortgage banking.
  • Additional expertise in specialized services including employee benefit plan audit and SOC audit engagements.
  • Experience performing contract audits and agreed upon procedure engagements with New Jersey State Government.
  • Experience with insurance engagements specific to claims operations.
  • Served in an international work assignment between Withum and HLB member firm Mann Judd in Australia.
  • Member of Withum's Accounting and Auditing Fellowship Program, responsible for instructing and training new sta and conducts numerous in-house continuing professional education (CPE) certified courses.
  • Active member of the Firm's Professional Services Group.

Brian Tremer

Brian L. Tremer, Esq.


Nukk-Freeman & Cerra, P.C

Brian L. Tremer focuses his practice on management-side employment litigation and counseling. Mr. Tremer defends employers in state and federal court, before administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Labor, and in arbitration forums such as FINRA. Additionally, Mr. Tremer advises clients on internal compliance and labor relations. Brian’s prior experience encompassed an array of traditional labor matters, including union grievance arbitrations, project-labor agreement disputes, collective-bargaining and charges of unfair labor practice.

Mr. Tremer also focuses on the development and administration of employee benefit and executive compensation plans. Mr. Tremer advises employers on compliance with ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code, as well as benefit matters relating to corporate mergers and acquisitions.


$259.00 - Member

$359.00 - Nonmember

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