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Audit and Attest Standards Update and Hot Topics


Be prepared for an agency audit and understand the techniques that can help create a positive relationship with the auditor or investigator.

It is a fact of life that if you are in business long enough, you will be audited by one or more federal or state agencies that have an interest in assessing your compliance with the laws that apply to the business by random or targeted audit. Agencies may conduct an investigation into a suspected event of non-compliance with the law, open an audit in response to a "whistleblower" complaint, or open an investigation or audit in response to a triggering event. Regardless of what type of audit or investigation is noticed, the business' initial response, its ability to quickly respond to information requests, and the business' executives' attitudes and behaviors during the audit or investigation have a material impact on how the audit or investigation proceeds. The presence or absence of apparent internal controls of business operations in the areas of accounting, finance, payroll, and benefit plan administration drastically impacts the orientation of the agent or officer who is conducting the audit or investigation. A business' ability to show internal controls over finance, accounting, payroll and benefits systems, and an orientation toward compliance may prevent the audit from being expanded into additional issues or time periods, or prevent one agency from sharing negative information with another agency with investigatory authority--expanding the scope of the audit. The goals of this program are to provide attendees with information that will help them be ready for an agency audit of their business; to understand the techniques that can help create a positive relationship with the auditor or investigator assigned to the matter; to be acquainted with audit and investigation procedures of various agencies, and; to help them understand the procedures for contesting or appealing adverse agency determinations. Attendees of the program will learn about developing and maintaining company controls and strategies for limiting audits and investigations when they occur. Finally, attendees will come away from the program with a better understanding of why agencies audit, and what the agents conducting the audit are trying to accomplish during their investigations. This information is critical if any business executive desires to close and audit or resolve an investigation in a manner that is positive for the company.



Kathleen R. Barrow

Kathleen R. Barrow

Fox Rothschild LLP

  • Partner at Fox Rothschild LLP
  • Has nearly three decades of experience helping employers correct tax and fiduciary issues with payroll, executive compensation and employee benefits
  • Her national practice includes strategic assistance with ERISA matters, compliance programs, and corrections of documentation and operational errors
  • Has a keen understanding of how and when to work with state and federal agencies, which contributes to her successful resolutions of tax issues with the U.S. Treasury and state and local tax authorities
  • Even with matters that involve millions of dollars in payroll and income taxes, her focus is to find solutions that mitigate burdens on impacted employees and avoid requirements to amend their personal tax returns
  • Clients include employers across a range of industries, nonprofit organizations, health care providers and school districts
  • Has handled cases that involve the U.S. Treasury Office of Tax Policy; the Department of Labor, Employee Benefit Security Administration; massive payroll corrections involving thousands of employees; and has led representation before the U.S. Tax Court, various U.S. District Courts and Courts of Appeals throughout the country
  • J.D. degree, with honors, University of Oklahoma College of Law; B.S. degree, with high honors, Nazareth College; M.B.A. degree, with high honors, Oklahoma City University
  • Can be reached at [email protected]

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