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What is the Process in Scheduling a Payroll Audit?

Scheduling a payroll audit may sound like a simple task; however, many factors are considered.

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It is not just picking up the phone, calling the employer and scheduling a date. The scheduler must consider what type of payroll audit they are scheduling—is this an in-house audit or field audit, and how many days will be needed to complete the payroll audit?

Types of Audits

To begin with, there are four types of payroll audits: new employer audits (courtesy audits), exit audits, random audits, and audits requested by the Board of Trustees (special request audits). The type of audit needed will determine which auditor is sent to perform the testing. For special request and exit audits, we want to make sure we send senior auditors to perform the testing, as there are usually some complex issues within that audit. Courtesy and random audits are usually less complex and have fewer special circumstances associated with the testing. 

The first step in scheduling the audit is to determine what type of audit it is so the scheduler can determine if a senior auditor will be needed.

In-House or Field Audit?

The next step in scheduling the audit is determining if the audit is going to be performed within the Lindquist LLP offices (in-house) or at the employer’s location (field audit). If the employer is located within a few hours of one of our offices, our preference is to typically have a field audit, as they are much more efficient. However, there are special cases when an employer located near an office may request an in-house audit due to the size of their office or the fact that the business is run out of their home. 

In-house audits are typically performed when the employer is in a region where there is significant travel time involved just to get to the employer’s location; however, if there are a group of employers within the same area, it is more efficient to travel to that location and schedule those employers during the same week. If it is determined that an in-house audit is to be performed, the scheduler will set up a secure portal for the employer to transmit documents to our office. Once documents are received, the scheduler will assign an auditor to review the documents. If all documents are received, the audit will be assigned to the appropriate auditor. If the employer does not send all relevant documents, a records request letter is sent to the employer asking for the remaining documents. The process then repeats itself until all documents are received. When the employer fails to submit requested documents, the matter will be referred to Trust Collection Counsel for assistance in the collection of the documents.

Days Needed

The final step in scheduling the audit is to determine the number of days required to complete the payroll audit. To do this, the scheduler needs to determine how many different Trust Funds are being tested, how many employees are reported to each Trust Fund, what type of Trusts are being tested, and if the job is local or if there will be travel involved. These factors will give the scheduling team an idea as to how complex the audit may be so they can determine which auditor to send. The number of employees reported to the Trust is the main driver for the scheduler to determine the number of days needed for the appointment. Our general rules for non-construction industry trade Trusts are as follows:

  • 0–30 employees: 1 day
  • 31–60 employees: 2 days
  • 60+ employees: 3 days

For construction industry trade Trusts, we schedule based on the following:

  • 0–15 employees: 1 day
  • 16–30 employees: 2 days
  • 30+ employees: 3 days

When travel is involved, we typically add half a day to a full day for travel to and from the employer’s location.

These are general scheduling guidelines that our scheduling team follows on any audit they are trying to schedule. There is undeniably more that goes into scheduling than just picking up the phone and calling the employer. Hopefully this overview gives more insight as to the who, what, when, why, and where questions schedulers are asking when they are scheduling the audit.

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