The ongoing obligations of an SMSF Auditor

It is reasonably well known that anyone who runs a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) must have the fund audited by a registered SMSF Auditor.

A registered SMSF auditor is registered with ASIC under section 128B of the SIS Act. To qualify for registration an auditor must have satisfied the following requirements. They must hold a tertiary accounting qualification, including an audit component, meet minimum experience requirements, hold professional indemnity insurance, hold a practising certificate, undertake continuing professional development, pass a competency exam and be an Australian resident.

So when you are considering people or firms to undertake SMSF audit services on your behalf you want to ensure they comply with the above requirements. Your auditor must also have a valid SMSF auditor number (SAN). They are required to supply this number on any SMSF returns submitted to the ATO.

This will give you a good idea of what questions you need to ask before you select an SMSF Auditor to ensure they are qualified to handle your SMSF Audit. There are also many ongoing obligations your SMSF Auditor will need to take on. Some of those include the following.

Your SMSF auditor, must comply with ongoing statutory obligations and any conditions of their registration, which is regulated by ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission).

Your SMSF auditor, must also; 

  • keep their details up-to-date with ASIC.
  • lodge an annual statement with ASIC.
  • complete prescribed ongoing professional development.
  • hold the professional indemnity insurance prescribed by ASIC.

Your SMSF auditor must also comply with the following:

  • any conditions imposed on their registration by ASIC.
  • the auditor independence requirements set out in APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.
  • the applicable auditing, or auditing and assurance, standards issued by the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AUASB)
  • the SMSF auditor competency standards issued by ASIC in Class Order [CO 12/1687] Competency standards for approved SMSF auditors.

Furthermore the ATO monitors SMSF auditor compliance. If SMSF auditor is not compliant the ATO may refer an auditor to ASIC for investigation. In circumstances where SMSF auditor are found to not be compliant ASIC may impose conditions on the SMSF auditor’s registration or even cancel the SMSF auditor’s registration, or disqualify or suspend the auditor from being an approved SMSF auditor.

As you can see there is quite a lot involved in becoming registered as an SMSF Auditor, maintaining ongoing education and development and complying with ongoing obligations. 

B.I.T. Accountants are a highly regarded market leader, providing a high quality, professional and timely superannuation audit service to clients Australia wide. Whether you are an individual or a practice needing to service clients who require SMSF auditing, B.I.T. Accountants can help. Contact us today for more information.

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