Business News

SMSF Association commends ASIC auditor ban

The SMSF Association was pleased the regulator was actively policing the register of approved SMSF auditors, following the recent disqualification of an SMSF auditor under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) (SIS) Act.

Last week, ASIC announced it had banned Peter Brennan of Bangor, New South Wales, after finding the work he performed in auditing three SMSFs for 2011 and 2012 to be deficient.

In particular, Brennan failed to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence about the funds’ compliance with the SIS Act and consequently a number of significant contraventions were not identified by him.
He also failed to provide written audit reports to the funds.

SMSF Association chief executive Andrea Slattery said ASIC’s decision was to be applauded.

“We are pleased to see that the co-regulation of SMSF auditors by ASIC and the ATO is working to remove auditors that should not be on the register,” Slattery said.

“The role of the auditor in the SMSF system is absolutely critical and it is essential that any professional undertaking this task is both qualified and competent.

“It is imperative that SMSF auditors are reporting contraventions to the ATO so that the integrity of the SMSF sector is maintained.”

She said from the association’s perspective, it had always recognised the importance of the auditing function.

“To this end, we established the SSAud designation in 2008 so that consumers would know their SMSF auditor had all the necessary skills,” she said.

“Since the designation has been in place, all the evidence suggests that trustees that are seeking out the services of auditors armed with the association’s accreditation have been duly rewarded in terms of the quality of the work.”

She added the association urged ASIC to remain vigilant in the area.

“With more than 1 million members and trustees, and over half a million funds, ensuring that the auditing process for SMSFs is being done by specialists is more important than ever,” she said.

From 1 July 2013, the SIS Act required all auditors of SMSFs to be registered with ASIC.

There are about 6700 registered SMSF auditors in Australia.

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