Next steps in SMSF audit policy proposal crucial

Federal Treasury’s decision to release a discussion paper on the proposed three-yearly audit cycle for some self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) has been welcomed by the SMSF Association. The proposal to have three-yearly audits, which was announced in the May Budget, is an important policy change that raised some genuine concerns among Association members, especially as it related to the integrity of the SMSF sector. SMSF Association Head of Policy Jordan George says: “The fact Treasury has listened to our concerns and agreed to have extended consultations on the policy detail instead of moving straight to consultation on draft legislation is very pleasing. “This eight-week consultation period will provide an excellent opportunity for the SMSF sector to provide Treasury with detailed feedback on this important policy shift.” “It will allow the Association to carefully consult with its members to get their feedback on how they think the proposal will affect the sector and formulate a comprehensive and informed submission to help steer Treasury’s policy making on this issue.” George says among the key issues that need to be examined include what are the appropriate eligibility criteria for SMSFs to be included in the three-year audit cycle and what events will trigger SMSFs to have an annual audit. “Our audit members have also conveyed their strong concerns regarding the proposal’s potential negative impact on the integrity of the SMSF sector, which is always of paramount concern to the Association, how it will affect audit workflows, and whether it will reduce costs for SMSFs. These are all important issues to work through during this consultation process. “We look forward to consulting with our members and Treasury on this critical issue to ensure the end result is the best policy outcome for the SMSF sector.”