The overwhelming majority of SMSF auditors believe their existing skill set will exempt them from having to sit an exam to gain ASIC registration, the latest survey conducted by the SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia (SPAA) has found.
The research showed 80 per cent of auditors servicing SMSF clients thought they had adequate experience allowing them to avoid the competency exam associated with the new compulsory ASIC registration regime.
Another 17 per cent of participants indicated the registration process provided them with a new opportunity to further enhance their SMSF specialisation, but thought their SMSF knowledge only needed strengthening in a few specific areas.
A final 3 per cent of those surveyed recognised they were not performing a significant enough number of SMSF audits to continue the practice and would not comply with the registration requirement, effectively dropping out of the space. This group indicated it would be outsourcing the audit function in the future as it could see no value in joining the ASIC register.
New regulations arising from the Stronger Super or Cooper review dictate any auditor providing auditing services for SMSFs needs to become an ‘approved SMSF auditor’ by registering with ASIC. Successful registration will depend upon the individual’s experience and completion of a competency exam may be required. The new regulations become effective from 1 July.
ASIC is expecting 6000 applications over the registration period. In its latest SMSF newsletter the ATO reported 3543 had already successfully registered.
The SPAA survey involved 1200 SMSF auditors and was conducted online via LinkedIn.