ASIC’s tough line on auditors gets tick of approval

The SMSF Association fully supports the decision by ASIC to disqualify or add conditions to the registration of 17 auditors of self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs).

Association CEO John Maroney says: “The action taken by the regulator to disqualify three SMSF auditors and impose conditions on the registration of another 14 where their work failed to meet the necessary professional standards is to be commended.

“We also support the ATO and the effective working relationship it has established with ASIC that has resulted in an outcome that can only benefit the integrity of the SMSF sector and deliver better outcomes for SMSF trustees and members.”

ASIC took this action after citing concerns about the auditors’ failures to meet certain requirements including independence standards, auditing standards, minimum continuing professional development (CPD) hours, lodging annual statements, and fit and proper person criteria.

Maroney says independent SMSF auditors are essential to the integrity of the SMSF sector, and, in the Association’s view, the vast majority admirably fill their role as the sector’s gatekeepers by ensuring SMSFs remain compliant with the taxation and superannuation laws.

“The Association maintains that SMSF auditors are key to the long-term health of the sector. This is why it is so important that auditors are held to the rigorous standards expected of them under the law by the regulators.”

He adds that this decision by ASIC further highlights the ongoing need for all SMSF professionals to have specific SMSF education and qualifications to underpin the services they provide to trustees, such as the Association’s SMSF Specialist Auditor accreditation.