Auditors require specific documents

SMSF auditors documents

Auditors do not need to see every piece of documentation associated with SMSF strategies in order to conduct the yearly audit for a fund.

Advisers and SMSF trustees do not need to provide fund auditors with all the documents relevant to the fund in order to make the audit process more efficient, a sector specialist has said.

Instead, ASF audits head of education Shelley Banton said there were only particular documents needed for the annual fund review procedure.

“There’s only a portion of documents we need for audit, but we do need them … and all of these documents have to be signed properly and executed properly within a certain period of time as specified by section 104 [of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act],” Banton told delegates at the SMSF Association Technical Summit 2022 held on the Gold Coast recently.

“This is one of the areas that provides the biggest hold-ups of audits. Yes we need the deed, yes we need the ATO trustee declaration, but we also need [things like] trustee consents.”

She pointed out it was the trustees and their advisers who needed to keep these documents on permanent file so they can readily be produced for reference during the annual SMSF audit.

“[Trustees] need to draw down to these finer details to make sure [everything is in order] so that when we get to the audit [the process is conducted] seamlessly and it doesn’t cause [operational] bottlenecks for [the adviser’s] practice and our practice,” she noted.

In a similar vein, she acknowledged there were some documents SMSF auditors did not have to see on a regular basis.

For example, auditors do not need to sight binding death benefit nominations (BDBN) on a regular basis.

“We don’t need to see a BDBN unless somebody dies. That can be on file and if the member dies, obviously we will request it,” Banton said.

“Everything to do with the adviser from the SOA (statement of advice) to the engagement letter … I’m not really asking for any of that information because it’s not relevant to the audit. It’s not part of the terms of engagement.”

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