Auditing, Regulation

Audit paper, consultation period welcomed

The SMSF Association is pleased with Treasury’s decision to address initial industry concerns and provide an eight-week feedback period for its discussion paper on the proposed three-yearly audit cycle for some SMSFs as the next steps for the policy are crucial.

Treasury, which published the paper last Friday, is seeking views on eligibility criteria, key events that may require more frequent auditing and possible transitional arrangements.

The industry has until 31 August to submit responses.

SMSF Association head of policy Jordan George said the change to audits raised genuine concerns among association members, especially as it related to the integrity of the SMSF sector.

“The fact that Treasury has listened to our concerns and agreed to have extended consultations on the policy detail instead of moving straight to consultation on the draft legislation is very pleasing,” George said.

“This eight-week consultation period will provide an excellent opportunity for the SMSF sector to provide Treasury with detailed feedback on this important policy shift.

“It will allow the association to carefully consult with its members to get their feedback on how they think the proposal will affect the sector and formulate a comprehensive and informed submission to help steer Treasury’s policymaking on this issue.”

He said the key issues to be examined included the appropriate eligibility criteria for SMSFs to be included in the three-year audit cycle and what events would trigger SMSFs to have an annual audit.

“Our audit members have also conveyed their strong concerns regarding the proposal’s potential negative impact on the integrity of the SMSF sector, which is always of paramount concern to the association, how it will affect audit workflows and whether it will reduce costs for SMSFs,” he said.

“These are all important issues to work through during this consultation process.

“We look forward to consulting with our members and Treasury on this critical issue to ensure the end result is the best policy outcome for the SMSF sector.

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