Audit registration fee parity wanted

SMSF auditors registration fees

The SMSF Association has used a submission to government to recommend audit registration fees be standard for all practitioners.

The peak sector body has called for specialist SMSF auditor registration fees for  to be brought into line with those applying to company auditors.

The SMSF Association said it supported the federal government’s intention to reduce the fee charged when an SMSF auditor cancels their registration with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), from $899 to $139, in its response to the proposed remaking of the Superannuation Auditor Registration Imposition Regulations, but asked Canberra to go even further.

“We note that registered company auditors are not subject to a registration cancellation fee. It is unclear how significantly the processing of an application to cancel a registration differs between these cohorts and whether for SMSF auditors it differs to such an extent,” SMSF Association deputy chief executive and director of policy and education Peter Burgess observed.

“We recommend that the SMSF auditor cancellation of registration fees at item 3 of section 6 be amended to $nil.”

The industry body accepted the practicality of the proposed increase in the application for registration fee applying to SMSF auditors, but questioned why this fee is five times higher than that paid by registered company auditors for the same process.

The reduction to the application fee to vary or revoke conditions imposed on an approved SMSF auditor’s registration from $1028 to $678 was welcomed, but the SMSF Association recommended a more equitable regime be implemented.

This position has been formed on the basis that the circumstances for each variation or revocation of an approved SMSF’s auditor’s registration are different and varied.

“The administration of some matters will be less burdensome than others. We also appreciate that while some matters may be very simple, others, due to their nature, may require more time and resources to administer. A tiered approach on whether the matter has low or high complexity, like that used for certain Australian financial services licence fees, should be considered,” Burgess said in the submission.

“We recommend the introduction of a tiered schedule of fees for item 2 of section 6, addressing the level of complexity (as applicable). The fee for an application to revoke or amend registration conditions should be commensurate to the administration required and not punitive in nature.”

Further, the association lent its support to keeping the fee charged for the SMSF auditor competency exam at $107.

The government mooted the changes to the fees registered SMSF auditors have applied to them in October.

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