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Standards board updates audit guidance

The Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AUASB) has updated its guidance statement regarding the audit of SMSFs.

GS 009 Auditing Self Managed Superannuation Funds was issued on 30 September and replaces the previous version of the statement released in August 2011.

The amended statement identifies, clarifies and summarises an approved auditor’s responsibilities under both the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) (SIS) Act 1993 and the SIS Regulations 1994.

In addition, it highlights the Australian Taxation Office rulings and interpretive decision as well as Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) regulatory guides that may be relevant to the SMSF audit process.

The statement also offers guidance for the auditor during the planning stage and while conducting the SMSF audit from both a compliance and financial perspective.

Examples of financial audit procedures, situations where auditor independence may be compromised, trust deed checklists, and engagement and representation letters are provided in the appendices of GS 009.

In other auditing news, the ATO has released a new fact sheet on the appointment of an approved SMSF auditor.

The fact sheet reinforces the new legal parameters governing SMSF audits and specifies the auditor must be registered as an approved SMSF auditor with ASIC and must have an SMSF audit number (SAN).

The ATO in this fact sheet points out the SMSF annual return will not be accepted if the SAN is not included in the submitted documents.

Furthermore, the amended time frame for the appointment of an approved auditor is covered off in the fact sheet. An approved SMSF auditor must now be appointed no later than 45 days before the lodgement of the SMSF annual return. Previously, the auditor had to be appointed 30 days prior to the return lodgement.

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