GBACO are Members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants' (AICPA) Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center (EBPAQC), which provides extensive research for any areas that may affect any given Plan audit. 

GBACO has chosen to focus a significant amount of attention in this area, with 15+ years of experience performing 6+ benefit plan audits annually. 

Experience with the following types of Plans:

  • Defined Contribution Plans
  • Defined Benefit Plans
  • 403(b) Plans
  • ESOP Plans
  • Limited and Full Scope Engagements

As part of our EBPAQC membership we are subject to an independent, rigorous review by another CPA firm every three years.  

Since joining the program performing employee benefit plan audits;

  • Our firm has successfully undergone 8 peer reviews while receiving an unmodified/PASS report. 
  • The DOL has reviewed selected plan audits to review and previous years, and have not noted any deficiencies related to Goff Backa Alfera & Company’s procedures or issued reports.
Continuing professional education is required for all levels of experience on the audit team including partners, managers, seniors and staff consultants. Matt Sarver, our manager specializig benefit plan audits, has obtained an “Advanced Defined Contribution Plans Audit Certificate” from the AICPA regarding expertise in this area of benefit plans.

Our Employee Benefit Plan Audit Team


Stephen J. Spitz, CPA

Steve is one of our firm’s newest audit partners. He's been with the firm since 2001, and functions as one of the firm's quality control partners.  

Steve oversees our ERISA (employee benefit plan services) practice.

Review Steve's Full Biography 

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Daniel K. Goff, CPA

Dan is our Audit and Quality Control partner, an active member of the AICPA and PICPA, and oversees our ERISA (employee benefit plan services) practice. 

Review Dan's Full Biography


Matthew B. Sarver, CPA

Matt was promoted to Manager in the Audit and Accounting Department in July 2015. He provides auditing services to clients in a variety of industries. However, he specializes in ERISA plan and HUD audits.  

Matt has completed the “Advanced Defined Contribution Plans Audit" certification from the AICPA.

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Review Matt's Full Biography

Have Questions or Comments?

Get in touch with our Employee Benefit Plan Audit Team. Contact Us, request a Complimentary Consultation, 
or call us at 412-885-5045.

We're here to help!

Blog Posts on Employee Benefit Plans

An Overview of The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974

"The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that sets minimum standards for most voluntarily established pension and health plans in private industry to provide protection for individuals in these plans." - The United States Department of Labor

Under ERISA, employers are not required to create a retirement plan, however, those that do must meet certain minimum standards.  

Click here for Retirement Plans and ERISA FAQs provided by the DOL.

ERISA was enacted to solve abuses in the private pension and welfare benefit plan system.  

According to, after... 

"Automobile manufacturer Studebaker Corp.’s plant-closure and default on fulfilling pension benefit obligations to many of its employees—leaving them just a fraction of what they had been promised, or even nothing—was seen as so egregious that the “Act to provide for pension reform” (the long title of the bill) received wide bipartisan support. After coming out of the Joint Conference Committee, and having been initially passed by significant majorities, the combined legislation was agreed to by the House on August 20, 1974. The vote was 407–2; it was unanimous in the Senate two days later." Read more about the history of ERISA

ERISA is overseen by:

And includes provisions to:

  • Protect plan participants and beneficiaries.
  • Detect and deter abusive practices.  

Plan Administrators should consider the following basic responsibilities regarding their employee benefit plans:

  1. Filing a complete and accurate annual return/report for each plan year.
  2. Determining whether or not your plan is susceptible to audit.
  3. If an audit is required, hiring an independent qualified public accountant (IQPC)
  4. Ensuring that the plan financial statements are properly audited in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS).