Marketing Opportunities for CPA's

Many CPA’s & Accounting firms see ERISA audits and the preparation of 5500 documents as the primary source of fees from the qualified plan market.  But these are just the tip of the iceberg.

Thousands of 401(k) and qualified plan sponsors are in dire need of professional services that CPA’s are uniquely qualified to provide.  The majority of individuals who sponsor qualified plans are completely unaware of the compliance issues imposed on them by DOL & ERISA regulations.

A significant portion of sponsors are likewise unaware of the liability issues facing them as a result.  The number of legal actions involving qualified plans has been growing steadily for some time now.

Additionally, the DOL has announced their intention to perform compliance audits of every 401(k) & qualified plan in the country (including yours) within the next five years. They have hired over 1,000 “investigators” for this purpose.

Most plan sponsors are completely unaware of this fact. A significant number of CPA firms are in-the-dark as well.

Annual Requirements

Every employer who maintains a qualified or group benefit plan should issue a request for services annually.  This is the first of many compliance requirements.

The request should read like a standard RFP document and should include all of the following:

  • Review of all service agreements with current plan advisers (a determination that agreements exist with each and every adviser).
  • Determination of all plan fiduciaries.
  • Verification that any plan adviser who is a named fiduciary has appropriate certifications.

A review should be performed confirming compliance with key code sections:

  • 408(b)(2) Fee Disclosure Requirements
  • Has a qualified Fee Disclosure Expert been engaged?
  • Make a determination that FD Expert meets Independent Guidelines?
  • Verifying that a Prudent Process was applied and appropriate documentation.
  • Has a 404(c) election been adopted?
  • Has the election been properly executed?
  • What are the Fiduciary’s responsibilities under 404(c)?
  • Has annual disclosure information been completed (Fee Benchmark)?

A prudent plan sponsor/fiduciary should have an overall analysis of the entire qualified plan compliance process performed every year.  Finally, there is the annual preparation of a 5500 document & the qualified audit (where required) must be performed.

The fact is that the vast majority of plan sponsors are completely unaware of their compliance obligations.  They don’t know which questions they should be asking and this is putting them at risk.

They need professional assistance and this is a compelling reason for you to make a contact and offer your services.

The marketing opportunities in the qualified plan market are virtually unlimited.  And eventually they lead to the full gamut of services that CPA’s and accounting firms have to offer to operating businesses; financial statement preparation, tax preparation and planning.

Opportunity is awaiting those who take action.

As a practicing CPA, I recognized early in my career that my best clients were those who sponsored qualified plans.  Profit sharing plans were the tried & true recommendation we gave to clients who came calling, asking for help in reducing their income tax burden?

That was more than 25 years ago; today that qualified plan itself has become the source of numerous consulting engagements.

Right now is the time for you to be contacting plan sponsors.  July 31st is a filing deadline for over half of all qualified plans.

We manage a national database of every existing qualified plan in the country.  The online database is updated daily.  We have a history of data and plan filings for every qualified plan going back to 2003. We can tell you every plan that requires an ERISA audit and we can provide the audit report itself.

In addition to the data, we have:

  • Red Flag listings, denoting non-compliance issues;
  • A Risk-Profile disclosing a history of 70 different risk factors affecting a given plan;
  • A Performance Report rating the performance of each and every plan against all other plans of a similar size and nature, nationwide.

We’ve designed a number of customized search queries to target plan prospects that are not in compliance with current regulations; are underperforming the market; require ERISA audit or have various other needs.

Sponsors’ needs for professional services are a compelling reason for you to make a contact and offer your services.  The consulting opportunities available within the qualified plan market are virtually limitless. As a CPA you are uniquely qualified to provide these services; you are independent with no conflict of interest.

Our database of qualified plans should be part of the professional library of every CPA firm in the country. Not just for marketing but for research purposes too. Our database provides detailed information (officers, consultants, investment advisers, profitability, etc.) on close to 1 million successful businesses nationwide.

Call us today at 800-282-4567, ask for one of our business development specialists.  We will be happy to help you with that initial contact.  Or email us at and ask for qualified plan information.


Eugene A. Benson, Jr., CPA/CEO

Larkspur Data Resources, Inc.

 PS  The door is open to the accounting profession, limitless consulting opportunities exist within the qualified plan market.


Check Out Our All New  –  Plan Performance Report

The Plan Performance Report is designed to generate face-to-face meetings with plan sponsors and decision makers.  This new report will create urgency & let sponsors know the consequences of failing to act on the important issues affecting their plan. You’ll have performance ratings, multi-year comparisons and a new calculation never seen before of Income that a plan is estimated to replace at retirement age.

You’ll also have…

  • Clear & Concise Performance Ratings for Every Plan
  • Performance Ratings Measured Against All Other Plans
  • Success Factor Ratings
  • Key Plan Data, Rates of Return, Expense Percentages
  • Fiduciary Risks and More.

We’ve taken the time to identify the flaws and “Red Flags” associated with any given plan, so that you don’t have to.  And you can immediately begin to search by these flaws and characteristics.  We know which plans represent the best opportunities for takeover; plans that have audit exposure, plans with excessive fees, plans with liability issues & plans with obvious filing errors.  Sponsor’s and fiduciaries can’t afford to ignore these issues, there’s just too much personal exposure for them.

These will become your keys to opening the door to meetings, conference calls and new business.

Keep in mind that employers have no idea about their rates of return, investment fees, expense percentages or replacement income; they definitely have no idea where their plan stands in relation to all other plans.  Being the financial expert armed with this information, you will be in a position to tell your prospects what their numbers are, what they mean and which are most important.

Information like this will get you in the front door and lead to new business.  We can put this information in your hands right now along with the talking points outline. The Plan Performance Report is designed to go with you on your Face-to-Face meetings. Use it as a guide for yourself and provide your prospect with a copy as well.  All of the tools you’ll need to demonstrate that a change needs to be made will be right there with you.

The report includes a fabulous new feature that you won’t find anywhere else; Income Replacement At Retirement!

In combination with Dalbar, we provide a calculation of income that a given plan is projected to replace at retirement.  Imagine being able to tell an employer that his company’s 401(k) Plan is projected to replace only 25% of his employees’ pre-retirement income? This is not good news, but it’s guaranteed to capture the attention of any decision maker who is responsible to the plan & its participants.  This computation of Income Replacement at Retirement will not be found anywhere else. It’s proprietary to Larkspur Data & Dalbar.

Let us demonstrate how to use this report to grow & expand your business right now.

Prospects of Wealth

Prospect of Wealth or POW as we like to call it is a searchable database with detailed information on nearly 4 million high-net-worth individuals nationwide. Information is gathered from over 70 different sources, both public and private and updated throughout the year. Each record is carefully evaluated against dozens of different criteria to determine levels of personal wealth, weighing all available net-worth indicators according to rigorously constructed demographic models, before qualifying them as solid prospects for investment products and services.

Once wealth levels have been evaluated, each prospect record is passed through a series of more in-depth tests to determine if they are the type of individual who is likely to have a need for a variety of financial services. Prospects are carefully evaluated on national and local models based on age range, personal interests, likelihood of positive responses to solicitations, lifestyle, career indicators as well as other self-reported characteristics.

Further matching is performed using internal and external sources to enhance records with supplementary data that can be useful in closing sales. Finally, a deep cleansing process is applied, matching names, addresses, zip codes, phone numbers and all supplementary data against government and publicly maintained records. Deliverability is backed by our 100% replacement guarantee. All phone numbers are screened against the national “do not call list” on a monthly basis.

The records are accessed online through a searchable interface that allows users to literally slice through the market, targeting only those individuals most likely to be interested in a particular product or service. The interface not only allows you to customize your searches by estimated net worth, age range, evidence of wealth and other criteria it will also enable you to sort your results, print mailing labels and export data to CRM software. Each prospect listing contains a detailed report outlining exactly why we believe this person is a high net worth individual along with name, address, phone and any other relevant information.

Call us and ask for 100 High-Net-Worth leads FREE.  

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