One of the driving factors in choosing from 401k audit firms is the pricing. Each CPA firm has its own pricing structure, and if you’re not familiar with how CPA firms bill their clients, you could be hit with unexpected fees.

Let’s look at a few common pricing structures so you know what to expect when hiring a 401K audit firm for your next audit.


Common Pricing Structures Used by 401K Audit Firms

Hourly Fees

Some CPA firms charge their clients by the hour to conduct a 401K audit. This means the auditing firm initially estimates how many hours it will take to complete the audit and provides an estimate to its client. This pricing structure is straightforward, and at the end of the service, a company only pays for the hours the CPA firm works on the audit.

However, tracking hours can become complicated, especially when considering phone calls, emails, and back-to-back communication. Some auditing firms charge their hourly rate for every email or phone call, and others don’t. Before you enter an agreement with your CPA firm, ask if phone calls to ask questions about the audit are included in the hourly fee.


All-Inclusive Fees

The all-inclusive fee pricing structure is simple for the client. When benefit plan audit firms use this pricing structure, they quote their client one set price. That price includes everything required to complete the audit, including phone calls, meetings, and hours worked.

All-inclusive pricing protects the client from additional fees. Plus, if your retirement plan audit becomes complicated and requires more manhours, your CPA firm must honor the original agreement and cannot change its fees to reflect the additional work.

Add-On Services

Add-on services, or add-on fees, are common additions to the cost of hiring a CPA firm. Some 401K audit firms quote an initial price for an employee benefit plan audit.  However, as they complete the work, they charge their client for additional services, like travel or incurred costs. 

Most of the time, these additional costs are not mentioned in the original estimate. Before you sign an agreement with a CPA audit firm, be sure to inquire about extra charges that might be tacked on to your bill to get an idea of the cost of benefit plan audits.


The Assurance Dimensions Fixed Fee

At Assurance Dimensions, we understand that one size does not fit all, especially regarding client budgets and pricing an audit.

Instead of setting an hourly fee or charging for add-on services, at Assurance Dimensions, we take the time to engage you in conversation to understand your business needs, your specific industry requirements, and its unique complexities. After reviewing your 401K auditing needs, we’ll determine a fixed fee for our services, and you can rest assured you won’t encounter other unexpected expenses.


Choosing Qualified 401K Audit Firms

Finding 401K audit firms with a pricing structure that works for you, your budget, and your business can be challenging. Some pricing structures only cover the bare minimum, and you might pay a higher fee for your CPA firm than anticipated. Plus, each CPA firm will likely increase their rates year after year.

At Assurance Dimensions, we care about our clients and their auditing needs. It’s why we take the time to understand our clients and their industry and auditing requirements before quoting an estimation for our work. With over 75 years of industry experience behind us, you can be sure you’re receiving the best service from our professional public accountants. 

Contact us today to conduct your 401k audit.