ASIC, Auditing

374 auditor registrations voided

SMSF auditors cancelled

A total of 374 SMSF auditors have had their registration with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission cancelled for compliance issues.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has cancelled the registration of 374 SMSF auditors for failing to lodge their annual statement.

Before taking this enforcement action, the corporate regulator was in communication with over 1400 SMSF auditors informing them of their overdue reporting obligation. Subsequent to this notification the majority of these practitioners complied with this requirement.

The auditors who still had not lodged their annual return after this first warning from ASIC were contacted again by the regulator on 3 August 2022, informing them their registration may be cancelled due to their non-compliance.

To this end, ASIC sent them a notice of cancellation regarding their registration on 23 January 2023.

Under section 128G of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) (SIS) Act, SMSF auditors are required to lodge an annual statement with ASIC within 30 days of the anniversary of their registration.

Failure to do so will allow the regulator to cancel the registration of the auditor in question under section 128E of the SIS Act.

“SMSF auditors play a fundamental role in promoting confidence and instilling trust in the SMSF sector, which holds more than $865 billion in assets in over 600,000 funds. It is crucial that SMSF auditors comply with their regulatory obligations. ASIC will continue to take action where they do not meet these obligations,” ASIC commissioner Danielle Press said.

ASIC noted the practitioners who were expelled from the register had not performed a significant number of SMSF audits in the past two or three years.

The regulator last took on a similar exercise in 2018 when 117 SMSF auditors had their registrations cancelled.

An SMSF auditor who has had their registration cancelled can reapply for registration in the future.

In addition, practitioners who have had their registration revoked have the ability to request ASIC review its decision. Should the decision be confirmed or varied after a requested review, SMSF auditors can then apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to have the cancellation of their registration re-examined.

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