COVID-19: In conversation with the ATO – SMSF Auditors


This edition of ‘In conversation with the ATO’ features the ATO’s SMSF Auditor Portfolio Director, Kellie Grant, and the SMSF Association’s Technical Manager, Mary Simmons, covering the impact of COVID-19 from an SMSF auditor’s perspective.

This discussion covers:

• ATO announces SMSFs will not face compliance action where an in-house asset breach that arose in 2019 could not be rectified by 30 June 2020 due to COVID-19.
• Confirmation from the ATO that 2020 and 2021 ACR instructions will be changed to reflect what auditors will be required to report via an ACR.
• Clarification of electronic signatures for financial statements.
• How auditors need to evidence funds capitalising interest on LRBA loan relief arrangements.
• Evidence auditors should rely on if SMSFs offer rent relief to any tenant.
• Guidance on documenting the impact of COVID-19 when finalising 2019 audits.
• Evidence that auditors are to expect from trustees in relation to investment strategies and asset market valuations.
• Confirmation from the ATO on the auditor’s role in relation to COVID-19 temporary early access measure and pension minimum drawdown requirements.
• ATO confirms what it expects from auditors in relation to the COVID-19 temporary early access measure
• ATO confirms status quo for auditors in relation to pension minimum drawdown requirements


Knowledge Area:
Contributions, Managing Investment, Taxation
CPD Hours:


Mary Simmons

Technical Manager
SMSF Association

With over 20 years experience in the superannuation industry, focusing primarily on SMSFs, Mary has an in-depth, expert knowledge of the industry. With diverse roles spreading across large accounting firms, large and boutique financial service providers as well as Government, Mary offers an all-round understanding of the SMSF industry. Mary has a multifaceted perspective of the SMSF industry, including that of government, a professional advisor and trustee/member.

Mary has authored and presented many pieces of work over the years and has a proven ability to convey complex, technical matters into clear concepts with practical application.

Kellie Grant

Director, Self-managed Super Funds, Approved Auditors Portfolio
Australian Taxation Office
Bachelor of Science/Laws (Honours)

With the ATO since 1997, Kellie worked in a number of areas before joining Super in 2008. She spent several years in Super’s Complex Technical Unit, providing advice on a wide range of issues and has also worked in the SMSF area. Here she spent some time in the Trustees portfolio determining the appropriate responses to and treatments for a range of SMSF income tax and regulatory risks as well as managing the early engagement and voluntary disclosure service that trustees and/or their advisers can use to rectify fund breaches. Currently she is working in the Approved Auditors portfolio and is involved in identifying and treating risks associated with this sector as well as creating strategies and guidance to assist auditors with their regulatory obligations.