ASIC takes action against eight auditors

ASIC SMSF auditors

ASIC has taken compliance action against a further eight SMSF auditors by deregistering five and imposing conditions on three between March and June this year.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has taken action against eight SMSF auditors between March and June of this year by deregistering five and imposing conditions on the registration of the other three following a number of referrals by the ATO.

ASIC stated it took the actions between 1 March and 30 June after seven auditors were referred to it by the ATO and the eighth auditor’s behaviour was identified by the regulator as requiring attention.

“These actions resulted from breaches of obligations, including auditing and assurance standards, independence requirements and registration conditions, or because ASIC was satisfied the individual was not a fit and proper person to remain registered,” the corporate watchdog stated.

Those disqualified are Ross Casperson, of Bundall, Brisbane, Ian Good, of Glen Waverley, Melbourne, Clifton Hammond, of Mirboo North, Victoria, John Pascoe, of Nedlands, Perth, and Phil Scahill, of Parramatta, Sydney.

Those auditors with additional conditions imposed on their SMSF auditor registration are Andrew Hunt, of Parramatta, Sydney, Terence Murphy, of Forster, New South Wales, and John Phillips, of Melbourne.

ASIC commissioner Sean Hughes said: “ASIC expects SMSF auditors to adhere to the ethical and auditing standards given the fundamental role they play in promoting confidence in the SMSF sector.

“ASIC will continue to take action where the conduct of SMSF auditors is inadequate. These actions help protect the integrity of SMSF audits.”

The regulator took similar action against 10 auditors in May when it cancelled their registrations after they failed to lodge annual statements and in April when it deregistered 12 auditors and imposed conditions on seven others for multiple breaches of obligations.

It noted the disqualified auditors will be placed on its public banned and disqualified register and the auditors have the right to appeal decisions made in relation to them under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act.

This can be done by requesting a reconsideration of ASIC’s decision, as well as applying to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for further review of the decision.

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