Business News

ASIC continues auditor crackdown

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has disqualified another two individuals from being approved SMSF auditors, bringing last week’s ban total to three.

Last Wednesday, the corporate watchdog disqualified Abe Samuel of New South Wales from being an approved SMSF auditor after it was determined he breached independence requirements and was not a fit and proper person to be an approved SMSF auditor.

ASIC found Samuel had breached independence requirements of “APES 110: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants”, where he was a member of a fund he audited and also the director of its corporate trustee, as well as the power of attorney holder for, and a relative of, a member of a fund he audited.

“It is critical that approved SMSF auditors perform their role adequately and meet professional standards to promote confidence in the SMSF sector,” ASIC commissioner John Price said.

“Compliance with the independence requirements is fundamental in fostering this confidence.

“ASIC will continue to follow up matters referred by the ATO concerning the quality of SMSF auditors.”

Last Thursday, ASIC disqualified James Dermody of NSW after it was found he signed independent auditor’s reports and auditor independence declarations for two companies for the years ended 30 June 2013 and 2014 when he was not a registered company auditor under the Corporations Act.

The regulator announced it had disqualified Manoj Abichandani of NSW from being an approved SMSF auditor last Monday, after it was determined he provided untruthful statements that were deliberately misleading and was not a fit or proper person to be an SMSF auditor.

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