The SMSF Association has applauded the Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s (ASIC) decision to address the cancellation-of-registration fee for auditors, but would like an even more common-sense solution to the issue to be adopted.
SMSF Association head of policy and advocacy Tracey Scotchbrook told attendees of the industry body’s National Conference 2023 held recently in Melbourne: “The [current] ASIC fees they charge SMSF auditors, they are due to sunset on 1 April. So we had a consultation paper around some proposed new fees last year and it was pleasing to see they are looking to reduce that cancellation-of-registration fee from $899 down to $193.
“That’s a great move, [but] we’ve long advocated there should be no fee. A fee should not be a barrier to exit.”
The SMSF Association communicated this position in its consultation paper to Treasury on the subject, but conceded if there must be a fee associated with this action, it needs to be reasonable in relation to what is involved in cancelling an auditor’s registration, Scotchbrook revealed.
Treasury is yet to release the final regulations, but the industry body is expecting this to happen very soon.
While a better resolution to registration cancellation fees is being sought, Scotchbrook confirmed the association is very supportive of what it has recently gleaned about the regulator’s stance on auditor competency standards.
She pointed out the class order regarding the current competency standards is set to expire on 1 April and ASIC has indicated it is considering not renewing it as a result of a previous round of consultation.
“I think that’s a practical outcome because it means [ASIC] will not have to worry about maintaining it as they have a perishable document and [also] all of the regulatory framework is already there,” she said.
Given this is a significant change, the association is encouraging members to provide their feedback about it.