New SMSF Auditor Registration Requirements

Effective 31 January 2013 the law in relation to the minimum standard of independence and competency across the SMSF sector for SMSF Auditors was amended (S.35C and regulation 8.03). From this date persons cannot audit an SMSF unless they qualify as an “approved SMSF auditor” (subject to transitional rules). This new regime was introduced under the Superannuation Laws Amendment (Capital Gains Tax Relief and Other Efficiency Measures) Act 2012 (‘the Act’) in conjunction with the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Amendment Regulations 2012 (No. 6) (which makes certain amendments to the SIS Regulations). Reference should also be made to the ASIC Regulatory Guideline 243 (Registration of SMSF auditors).

Whilst ASIC will ensure the new provisions and requirements that must be satisfied to register (with ASIC) as an approved auditor the ATO will still play a role in ‘policing’ the new regime. This will be done through auditor compliance reviews and advising ASIC of the outcome if appropriate.

Transitional rules will apply for “existing SMSF auditors’. Refer to S.70 of the Act. The transitional relief deems existing SMSF auditors to be approved SMSF auditors from 1 January 2013 to 30 June 2013 in order for them to continue to audit SMSFs during the introductory phase. After this date existing SMSF auditors will lose their deemed status and is also the date by which these auditors must have lodged their application for registration with ASIC to become ‘Approved Auditors’. In other words from 1 July 2013, the person is ineligible to audit an SMSF unless and until they are notified of their registration even if the application was lodged by 30 June 2013 but not assessed by 30 June 2013.

In addition to the requirements to register as an approved SMSF auditor, it is important for them to comply with any conditions imposed on registration for example ASIC may require the person to complete a course of education. ASIC can impose conditions to the auditor’s registration under S.128D even though the existing SMSF auditor has satisfied all the requirements under the transitional arrangements. The ongoing requirements that must be satisfied by an approved auditor can be found in S.128F Regulation 9A.04, S128F, S128F Regulation 9A.06, S.128G and S.128H.

Campbell McCart of SMSF Super Auditors is a registered self managed superannuation fund (SMSF) auditor as of 13 March 2013. ASIC registration Number 100032924

DISCLAIMER: The above is general advice only, you should not act on this advice without consulting a professional adviser to discuss your personal circumstances.