SMSFA members reject three-year audit cycle

An SMSF Association member survey has found significant opposition toward the proposed introduction of a three-year audit cycle for SMSFs with a good compliance history.

When asked if they support the change to a three-year audit cycle for SMSFs with a good compliance record, 89 per cent of respondents said they were not in favour of such a move.

During the industry body’s most recent technical update webinar, SMSF Association head of policy Jordan George said: “I think it’s important to know in this survey it wasn’t just SMSF auditors responding; we had a really good response across our membership from auditors, accountants, financial advisers, administrators [and] lawyers [and] it was very consistent that people did not support this proposal.”

Association members registered similar sentiment when asked if they thought the new audit cycle would result in reduced administration costs for trustees, with 85 per cent of participants saying they did not think the measure would lower expenses.

“When we asked whether people thought the three-year audit would make things more complex rather than reducing complexity, again there was a very strong response with around 85 per cent of our members saying that they think it wouldn’t reduce complexity, but would in fact increase it,” George revealed.

“Then when we went to question five, which was ‘Would you still recommend your clients continue annual audits?’ and the vast majority of our members that responded said they would, which I think shows the importance our members place on the annual audit cycle and the integrity that that brings.”

He said the responses have been taken on board and communicated to Treasury.

“I think it’s a very persuasive message when you have SMSF specialists thinking that this measure won’t work, it’s something that government should listen to and something that we’ve put forward and we’ll keep having that discussion with them going forward,” he said.

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