SMSF Specialist Auditor (SSAud®)


The SMSF Specialist Auditor (SSAud ® ) program is specifically designed for audit professionals seeking recognition for their specialist skills and knowledge required through statutory obligations, Auditing & Assurance Standards and AUASB Guidance Statements.

To audit a self-managed super fund, an auditor must be a qualified member of an approved professional organisation.

As of 1 July 2013, the rules changed and now SMSF Auditors must be registered with ASIC.

When held in conjunction with an accounting degree, the SMSF Association SSAud® will satisfy the education requirements of the ASIC Auditor Registration, as it is registered as an approved program under the SMSF Auditor regulations (SIS 9A.02)


7 topics + Exam

12 months to complete

37 CPD


Total cost to complete the program (including exam)

To be eligible for the SMSF Specialist Auditor™ program, you must:

  • Be an SMSF Association Associate member.
  • Maintain adequate professional indemnity insurance for the SMSF professional auditor.
  • Structured Training: Have attended a minimum of 40 hours of structured SMSF training in the past 3 years, of which at least 8 hours is structured audit training.
  • Practical SMSF Audit Experience: Have completed 300 hours of practical SMSF audit in the past 3 years, of which at least 150 hours is in a senior or supervisory role; OR
    • Have signed off as the “Approved Auditor” on 20 or more SMSF audits in the past 12 months.
    • Agree to conduct SMSF audits following the SMSF Association Standards of Professional Conduct for SMSF Specialist Auditors.
  • Agree to conduct SMSF audits following Guidance Statement GS 009 Financial & Compliance Audits of Self Managed Superannuation Funds issued by the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board.
  • Agree to satisfy the SMSF Association’s Continuing Professional Development and Quality Review Program requirements.

On registering for the SMSF Specialist Auditor program you will be required to complete a questionnaire form to ensure your eligibility.

This program meets part of the compliance requirements to become a Registered SMSF Auditor.

Students will examine the requirements of the Australian Auditing Standards and how they should be applied in an SMSF audit. Also, the practical relationship between the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS) compliance audit of an SMSF and the Auditing Standards will be analysed.

Specifically, the program covers the auditor’s reporting obligations in relation to SIS compliance to both the trustees and the Australian Taxation Office.

Knowlege Diagnostic Quiz (optional)

This diagnostic quiz is designed to help you determine your knowledge gaps across the key SMSF audit knowledge domains.  This will prove invaluable as you undertake the SSAud® learning journey.  However, if you have already completed the CDP Compass you do not need to do this.

Learning Resources

The program includes seven (7) self-paced learning modules specific to the module topics. This will provide you with broad SMSF audit knowledge to prepare you for completing the online SMSF Specialist Auditor exam.


The online examination is 2 hours in duration and consists of 120 multiple-choice questions. No written answers are required.

The exam is conducted under supervision,  and you are required to nominate a suitable supervisor (meeting specified eligibility criteria) before being provided with access to the online exam.

Important note: We expect that candidates will be able to pass the exam, provided there has been sufficient attention and engagement to the learning materials, and they have practical SMSF experience in the industry.

Participants are permitted a maximum of two (2) attempts to pass the online examination.

On completion of the modules and exam, before recognition as an SMSF Specialist, you will be required to complete a short questionnaire to confirm your eligibility to be an SMSF Specialist Auditor.

To prepare for the online exam, you will be provided with an SSAud® practice exam as part of the learning module resources. 

Topic 1 – Being an SMSF Auditor

It is a legislative requirement that the financial statements of all self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) are audited each year. As a result, auditors perform an important function in maintaining the integrity of the SMSF sector.

From 1 July 2013, approved SMSF auditors are required to be registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). As a result, legislation has been introduced regarding the education and experience required to become registered and for registered auditors to maintain their registration. These changes were intended to ensure that quality and integrity of the SMSF system are maintained by increasing the competency requirements for SMSF auditors.

Topic 2 – Audit Standards

Topic 1 examined the compliance framework for the professional and statutory obligations that apply to auditors. This topic examines the framework that applies to the conduct of the audit, comprising of Audit and Assurance Engagement Standards, and how it applies to the audit of a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF).

SMSF auditors are required to comply with the relevant audit standards published by the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AUASB). The AUASB has published Guidance Statement GS 009 ‘Auditing self-managed superannuation funds’ to assist auditors in meeting their obligations and to comply with the relevant audit standards

Topic 3 – Preliminary Engagement Activities

Prior to the acceptance of any audit engagement, the auditor is required to perform preliminary procedures to assess whether it is appropriate that the audit engagement is accepted. These preliminary activities include the satisfaction of fundamental ethical requirements, quality control procedures and independent assessments.

The auditor is required to document the agreed terms of the engagement addressing specific objects in the engagement document.

Whether the audit is a new engagement or a continuing engagement, the auditor is required to have established acceptance and continuance procedures.

This topic will examine these vital preliminary audit activities and the engagement process.

Topic 4 – Planning and Risk – Identification, Assessment and Response

When conducting the audit, the auditor seeks to reduce the risk of material misstatement to a suitably low level. An integral part of the audit process is, therefore, the identification of risk, assessing the actual or potential impact of risk on the financial reports being audited.

The assessment and consideration of risk facilitate the auditor’s design, documenting and implementation of the audit plan.

Topic 5 – Conducting the Audit – Part A

Under section 35B(1) of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth) (SIS Act), self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) trustees are required to ensure that a statement of financial position and operating statements are prepared for each financial year. Section 35C of the SIS Act requires that those financial statements are audited by an approved SMSF auditor.

This topic examines the processes and procedures required in undertaking the audit of the financial statements. This is Part A of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) prescribed audit report — Self-managed superannuation fund independent auditor’s report (2-15).

Topic 6 – Conducting the Audit – Part B

Part B of the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) approved auditor’s report is the compliance audit. The auditor is required to express an opinion on the self-managed superannuation fund’s (SMSF) compliance with the prescribed sections and regulations of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth) (SIS Act) and Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 (Cth) (SIS Regulations).

In this topic the compliance audit has been categorised into five key areas:

  • definition of an SMSF
  • sole purpose test
  • investments
  • member benefits
  • trustee obligations.

This topic examines the compliance audit requirements including SIS Act/SIS Regulations compliance and the audit framework for compliance audits as prescribed by ASAE 3100 ‘Compliance engagements’ and ASAE 3000 ‘Assurance engagements other than audits or reviews of historical financial information’.

 Topic 7 – Auditor Reporting

Auditor reporting occurs in several different forms. This naturally includes the independent auditor’s report. However, in addition to the auditor’s report, other auditor reporting obligations arising from the audit standards, statutory auditor reporting under Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth) (SIS Act), requiring the auditor to report to both trustees and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as the regulator.

These reporting obligations must be understood to ensure that auditors are meeting their professional obligations as well as those imposed by the audit standards and the SIS Act. Penalties apply under the SIS Act for non-compliance with the auditor reporting requirements. This topic looks at the practical application of these areas with regards to Part A of the SMSF audit.

You are required to successfully complete the program within twelve months of entering the accreditation program.

The SMSF Association Standards of Professional Conduct for SMSF Specialist Auditors apply to all SMSF Specialist Auditors. As the ‘gatekeeper’ between the SMSF trustee and the Regulator it is imperative the SMSF Specialist Auditor performs their duties to best practice standards to continue building the integrity of the SMSF industry.

To apply you must be an SMSF Association Associate Member or SMSF Specialist Advisor. 

If you are not yet a member of the SMSF Association, follow the link below to become a member and add the SMSF Specialist Auditor program to your cart.  


Prior to registering for the SMSF Specialist Auditor program you should review the following documents:

Become an
Associate Member

You must be an Associate Member in order to enrol in an SMSF Specialist program.

Ready to become an
SMSF Specialist Auditor®?

Already an Associate Member? Enrol in the program today to start your journey towards becoming an SMSF Specialist Auditor®.