Vrakas has considerable experience working with employee stock ownership plan (ESOP)-owned companies and are well versed with the different challenges that can arise throughout an ESOP’s lifecycle. We have assisted clients with establishing ESOPs, liquidating ESOPs, planning for leveraged ESOPs (and re-leveraged ESOPs) and addressing future repurchase obligations, among other matters. We strive to create a working relationship with the company’s ESOP attorneys, administrators and valuation firm to assure all professionals are in sync, which we feel maximizes our ability to service our clients.
Vrakas is a proud member of both The ESOP Association – Wisconsin Chapter and National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO).
ESOPs are tax-qualified retirement plans that invest primarily in the sponsoring company’s stock. Often times ESOPs are used as a financing tool to buyout the company’s founders and other majority shareholders. Utilizing an ESOP can be an attractive option to the sponsoring company due to a number of specific tax incentives that benefit both the company and selling shareholder(s). Similar to all other tax-qualified retirement plans, ESOPs operate within the legal framework under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and the Department of Labor’s (DOL) rules and regulations under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Vrakas has a deep understanding of this legal framework allowing us to help our clients navigate through the ongoing compliance challenges of operating as an ESOP.
Our expertise in this area also allows us to act as a resource to you as questions and/or concerns come up during the year regarding ESOP matters (such as understanding the intricacies of ESOP accounting rules, financial statement presentation questions, accounting journal entry questions, cash flow implications, etc.).
Our services to ESOP-owned businesses include:
- Audits, reviews and compilations of sponsoring company’s financial statements
- ESOP employee benefit plan audit services
- Tax planning, tax elections, compliance and entity structure analysis
- Transaction structure options analysis
- Consulting and advisory in applying ESOP accounting rules