Maria Hurd, CPA
Accounting & Auditing
Selecting a qualified auditor is an important fiduciary responsibility. To help clients choose BLS confidently, I continue to build my knowledge base, staying on top of legislative changes through my ASPPA membership and developing close working relationships with ERISA attorneys in the region."
Maria leads a team of specialized retirement plan auditors and the retirement plan audit niche at BLS, the largest locally owned CPA firm in Delaware. She is responsible for planning, supervising, and reviewing audits of single, multiemployer, and government 401(k), 403(b), and Taft-Hartley plans. Maria is known as one of the go-to auditors in the industry, which has helped her niche experience exponential growth in the number of plan audits due to the confidence of her referral sources. As a result of her team’s efficient auditing and value-added services, she has a 95% client satisfaction and retention rating.
Maria frequently attends and speaks at educational conferences, including the AICPA/DOL National Employee Benefit Plan conference and the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries conferences. Maria gives the auditor’s perspective in educational panels targeting plan sponsors, investment advisors, third-party administrators, and other service providers in the industry.
Maria spearheads the firm’s employee benefit audit blog – The Art of the Qualified Plan Audit. Her blogs are frequently re-published in several national publications and she has authored white paper publications for major asset management companies.
Areas of Specialization
Professional Memberships & Recognition
- ASPPA Benefit Councils of Greater Philadelphia – Steering Committee Member, Past President and Treasurer
- ASPPA Eastern Region – Regional Conference Committee (2015 – Present)
- Plan Sponsor Council of America – Member
- International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP)
- PrimeGlobal Employee Benefit Audit Special Interest Group Member
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
- Delaware Society of Certified Public Accountants
- Wilmington Tax Group – Past President and Treasurer
- Recognition of Academic Achievement in Retirement Plans as part of the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist curriculum sponsored by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and the Wharton School of Business
Boards & Committees
- Latin American Community Center – Board Member/President
- Fiorenza Food for Friends – Finance Committee Member
- Tatnall School – Past Audit Committee Member (2009-2019)
Education & Certifications
- Georgetown University – Bachelor of Science Degrees in Accounting and International Management (Cum Laude)
- AICPA Advanced Defined Contribution, Defined Benefit, Health and Welfare Audit Badges
- IFEBP and Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania – Retirement Plan Associate Designation
- American Retirement Association – Certified Plan Sponsor Professional (CPSP)
- Competitive Ballroom Dancer
- 1981 Spelling Bee Winner for Puerto Rico
- Certified SCUBA Diver
- Avid Dog Rescuer
Insights from Maria
- One 60-Day IRA Rollover Per Year Is The Final Answer
- What Goes in the Denominator? Complying with the Allocation Rules for Distributions from Qualified Plans With After-Tax Accounts
- Qualified Plan Distributions: IRS Issues Guidance on Allocation of After-Tax and Pretax Amounts
- Does your ERISA 403(b) Plan need a financial statement audit?
- Counting participants is not as easy as 1, 2, 3!!!
- DOL’s 403(b) Dedicated Web Page