Employee Benefit Plans Conference

618  |  Update  |  Scheduled


Whether you are a trustee, administrator, or plan auditor, TSCPA’s Employee Benefit Plans Conference will provide you with the latest updates on issues, changes, and guidance impacting benefit plans. Hear from nationally-recognized speaker Randy Dummer on the latest peer review findings related to employee benefit plans. Lara Stanton and Susan Peirce will discuss SOC reports, and Mark Johnson will cover cybersecurity issues. You’ll also get an update from David Donaldson on IRS audits, as well as have the opportunity to ask our expert panel your questions. This year’s informative breakout sessions will cover topics including internal controls/planning, ESOPS, retirement plans and investments.

Get the insights you need from the experts you want. If your focus is on employee benefit plans, this is the one conference you don’t want to miss.

   If you are unable to join us in Brentwood - or prefer to skip the travel - you can still take part in the conference.  Our online attendance option brings the conference direct to you via live streaming. Please visit this link for more information and registration.


Number of Credits Type of Credits
7 Auditing
1 Information Technology
6.67 CLE
Your Price: $505.00

This is your base price and does not reflect any additional session fees, optional add-ons, or guest registrations. Early Bird rates will be applied to all registrations made prior to April 9, 2019.

Members log in and save $100.00 on this event. Not a member? join today.


April 22, 2019

8:00am - 9:40am (Central Time)

On average 70% of retirement plans investigated by the Department of Labor are found to be in violation of ERISA. During this presentation, David Donaldson, a former Senior Investigator will give you an inside look at the most common errors and omissions by plan sponsors that cause these violations and the steps that can be taken to improve overall plan management. This presentation will also dive into some of the most common auditing errors.

9:55am - 10:45am (Central Time)

This session will cover peer reviewing findings relating to employee benefit plans.

10:50am - 11:40am (Central Time)

A fast paced discussion to assist the auditor to identity common errors that auditors make when trying to effectively leverage SOC reports. After the session, attendees will:

  • Understand SOC 1 reports and the related standards
  • Understand the relationship of SOC reports to risk assessment and substantive audit procedures
  • Understand the impact of carve-outs, exceptions and report qualifications.
  • Understand the importance of proper documentation
12:25pm - 1:15pm (Central Time)

In this presentation, we will provide an overview of the cybersecurity landscape of threats, IoT and risks and rewards of our inter-connected world. We will spend some time postulating on some things we may see in the near future.

Select One and Only One
1:20pm - 2:10pm (Central Time)

This session will discuss audit planning, focusing on risk assessment and key areas of risk to focus on in a defined contribution plan.  It will also cover best practices in documentation of those identified risks and will teach how to design audit procedures that focus on those identified risks.  Examples of best practices for completed documentation for planning and risk evaluation by audit area and at the assertion level will also be shared.  It will also cover an overview of SOC 1 reports and how to leverage those reports in your EBP audits.

1:20pm - 2:10pm (Central Time)

The complicated rules that govern qualified retirement plans mean that many plans run into compliance issues from time to time. This presentation will review IRS and DOL programs for fixing these qualification and fiduciary issues.

Select One and Only One
2:15pm - 3:05pm (Central Time)

This session will cover discussions on the most commonly seen investments in employee benefit plans and help to identify key characteristics of those investments.  It will cover valuation and classification concepts and will help auditors recognize any additional considerations needed for these investments.  Examples of testing procedures surrounding investment and investment income will also be shown.

2:15pm - 3:05pm (Central Time)
3:20pm - 4:10pm (Central Time)

This session will recap the conference sessions and answer any lingering questions participants may have.


This $50 discount is available for TSCPA members that are attending the conference for the first time. TSCPA will verify each registration to ensure accuracy.


In order to select CLE credits, please login to your account or register with your applicable BPR number.


David Donaldson

David Donaldson serves as the President and CEO of ERISA Smart. Previously he was a Senior Investigator for the U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefit Security Administration where his responsibilities included conducting and coordinating investigations of major inter-jurisdictional or national employee benefit plans, service providers investment advisors, investment managers and trust departments.

In addition, David was responsible for developing and presenting training for other investigators regarding plan investments, investment advisors and conflicts of interest. Prior to his work at the DOL, David worked for some of Wall Street's largest firms managing retirement plans, providing fiduciary guidance, and investment management services. David is a frequent speaker at national events on ERISA and retirement plan best practices.

He also is an expert witness and was recognized in 2013 as one of the top 100 most influential people in defined contribution. David's experiences and 20 years of working with retirement plans provide him with a unique perspective unmatched in the industry.

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Randy M. Dummer, CPA

Randy Dummer joined HHM in 2011 as a quality control partner in the Accounting and Assurance Department. He leads the firm in many initiatives including the peer review practice and employee benefit plan audit niche, in addition to providing technical reviews for clients in multiple industries such as auto dealerships, nonprofits, construction and manufacturing.

He is a nationally recognized employee benefit plan audit specialist and leads discussions for the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) in this area. His skills as a discussion leader have deemed him an eight-time winner of the AICPA Outstanding Discussion Leader Award. His teaching pursuits include instructing the Audits of 401(k) plans webcast since 2014 and teaching various employee benefit plan audit courses since 2006.

As the review captain for approximately 20 peer reviews each year, he helps other CPA firms raise the bar of quality for accounting, auditing, and attestation services. He has been on the peer review committee of the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA) for five years. In addition, he is an approved Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) audit specialist for the AICPA enhanced oversight project.

Prior to his time at HHM, Randy spent 24 years (including seven years as a Partner) with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP (Baker Tilly), a regional CPA firm based in Wisconsin. He served as the firm-wide leader of their employee benefit plan audit practice, encompassing approximately 700 engagements over eight offices. He also served as the engagement partner for audits of nonprofit organizations, automotive dealerships and other commercial and retail businesses.

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Lara G. Stanton, CPA

Lara has more than 23 years of experience. Lara leads the Chicago office employee benefit plan practice. She is part of the National EBP team at BDO which is responsible for providing training, materials, technical support and updates to all BDO offices that perform audits of employee benefit plans. In addition, Lara is a part of the National and Regional SOC practices at BDO performing SOC Report evaluations for engagement teams, as well as preparing SOC reports for a variety of clients and co-leading the Chicago office SOC practice.

Previously, Lara managed the BDO Atlanta and San Francisco offices’ employee benefit plan audit and Form 5500 preparation practices and was an original co-author of the BDO Seidman, LLP Employee Benefit Plan Audit Manual, which was published by Aspen Publishers as “The Miller Guide to Auditing Defined Contribution Plans” from 2003-2006.

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Susan J. Peirce, CPA, MTax

Sue Peirce is a principal and leads the employee benefits audit and specialty services team at Apple Growth Partners. Sue has led the development of numerous services at the firm including specialty audit services, benefit plan design and administration, and SOC engagements. She has implemented Lean principles in the delivery of audit services to achieve more efficient processes and outcomes in audit engagements. Sue regularly writes articles, hosts webinars, and has presented at numerous events including the AICPA National Employee Benefit Plan Conference, Matrix Financial Solutions Annual Conference, and various state CPA societies.

In addition to her audit work, she provides consulting services to business owners and professionals with a special emphasis on benefit plan services. Her expertise includes a focus on qualified retirement plans and related design, compliance, non-discrimination testing, distribution and reporting issues.

Sue is a former member of the AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center Executive Committee.

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Mark M. Johnson, CISSP

Mark M. Johnson is a shareholder with LBMC Information Security.

Johnson leads the growing healthcare security practice under the LBMC Information Security division. He has over 26 years of information security experience providing solutions to commercial companies, non-profit organizations, and various United States Federal Government agencies, including the design, development, implementation, and administration of information security strategic programs. He is a nationally recognized leader in information security and comes to LBMC from KPMG where he led the national healthcare industry cybersecurity services.

Prior to joining LBMC, Mark served as President/CEO of Catalina Security Consulting, Chief Information Security Officer of Vanderbilt University and Medical Center, Chief Security Officer of London Bridge Group and Manager at Deloitte.

Mark has served on several information security leadership boards and is a published author and nationally recognized speaker on healthcare information security regulatory and compliance topics. Mark served his country as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and received the designation of Naval Flight Officer. At his last command, he served as the Command’s Information Security Officer.

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Gwendolyn Bryant, CPA

Gwen Bryant serves as the leader of HoganTaylor’s Employee Benefit Plan practice, one of the largest in the Oklahoma/Arkansas region. HoganTaylor’s EBP practice provides audit services to approximately 200 defined benefit and contribution plans, including 401(k), 11K, 403(b), ESOP, and health and welfare plans, and also prepares approximately 400 Form 5500 returns annually.

Gwen has more than 20 years of experience in public accounting, specializing in audits of employee benefit plans. She is experienced in working with various retirement plans of all sizes. She also has served privately held companies in many industries, including not-for-profit, architectural/engineering, manufacturing, distribution, transportation and retail.

Gwen is a 1997 Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Arkansas (B.S.B.A. degree in Accounting). Gwen is a presenter at various conferences, including the AICPA National Conference on Employee Benefit Plan and SouthWest Benefits Association. Gwen is a member of the AICPA and the Arkansas and Oklahoma Societies of Certified Public Accountants.

Gwen also serves on the AICPA Employee Benefit Plan conference committee and is a member of the AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center Executive Committee.

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Anne Morris, CPA

With 16 years of public accounting experience, Anne specializes in employee benefit plan and not-for-profit audits and currently serves as the leader of Windham Brannon’s Employee Benefit Plan Practice. As the practice leader, Anne is committed to helping clients ensure that they are in compliance with reporting requirements and advising clients on plan operations and giving recommendations on process and administrative improvements.

She works closely with clients during the planning phase of an audit in order to identify potential issues as early as possible, thereby ensuring that the process is effective, efficient, and completed in a timely manner. She regularly communicates with her clients to help them answer any questions that may arise during the course of the year.

Anne enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with others. She is currently serving on the Task Force for the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants Employee Benefit Plan Conference and has been a frequent speaker at the AICPA National Employee Benefit Plan Conference. Additionally, Anne is regularly invited by the Board of Directors of her clients to present findings from their audits as well as other industry specific topics.

She joined Windham Brannon in 2001 after graduating from Auburn University with a Bachelors of Science in Accounting. Anne then completed her Masters of Accountancy in 2003 from Kennesaw State University.

Anne is an active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants, Women in Pensions, and the Georgia Center for Nonprofits. She is also a Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional (CNAP).

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John E. Lucas, JD, CPA, CPC

After spending over 15 years working as a tax and employee benefits consultant, primarily with a national accounting firm, John joined the firm in 2001. Drawing on the wealth of experience and contacts that he has made in over 30 years in the field of employee benefits, John is a “go-to” resource for complicated and arcane compliance matters for our firm and our clients.

John is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Pension Consultant (CPC). He received his JD from the University of Akron and his BBS from Marshall University.

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Sandy Shoemaker, CPA

As the service organization practice leader for the firm’s Rocky Mountain region, my greatest enjoyment comes from the time I spend with my clients, listening and learning about their businesses and working with them to strategize. I’m a servant leader, and I’m pleased to be able to bring my 28 years of expertise to my public and private service-based clients.

Public companies provide the opportunity to keep the saw sharp, work on public offerings, and lead an energetic team. I’ve completed IPOs, secondary offerings, and reverse mergers for companies looking to raise capital. My client base includes national and international organizations.

Private companies have provided me the opportunity to really get deep in my relationships with clients, understand their needs, and work with them to find business solutions. Over the years, I’ve developed a specialty in working within the franchising industry, providing assurance, tax compliance, tax structuring, and a plethora of consulting services to assist in reaching their goals. I’m also involved in the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) process and understand the coordination needed between attorneys and CPAs to meet the deadlines necessary to complete the filings.

As companies grow and address their exit strategies, I can help them determine their course of action and, if it’s the right fit, assist in the transition of the organizations to employee ownership through an ESOP. This includes a feasibility study, leading them through the transaction, and then auditing and tax services for the company, as well as audits of the ESOP plan. I’m proud that I’ve helped many of my clients implement the ESOP structure and transition their business to the next generation. I frequently speak at the ESOP Association annual technical conference and regional chapter meetings, as well as at the NCEO conferences on various ESOP topics.

I belong to the AICPA, the Colorado Society of CPAs, the International Franchise Association, the Women's Franchise Council, the ESOP Association, the California-Western States chapter of the ESOP association (member and board), National Center for Employee Ownership, Economic Literacy Colorado (board member), Association for Corporate Growth (board), and have served on various company boards in an advisory capacity. I received my B.S. in accounting from Missouri State University.

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Mark A. Blackburn, CPA

Mark A. Blackburn is a Shareholder in the LBMC Audit and Advisory practice.

He has significant experience in auditing employee benefit plans in a variety of industries and in accounting, auditing, and tax matters for the construction, real estate, and architectural/engineering industries.

Mark started working with LBMC when he graduated college more than twenty years ago.

Mark leads LBMC’s Employee Benefit Plan Audit group and works with all types of employee benefit plans, including defined contribution, defined benefit, health and welfare, and employee stock ownership plans. These plans range in size from small privately-held businesses to publically-held companies with 11-k filings.

Mark spends a majority of his time working with privately owned businesses and their retirement plans.

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