The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has continued its focus on the compliance standards of SMSF auditors with recent enforcement action taken against 11 registered practitioners.
To this end, over the six months from October 2022 to March 2023, the regulator disqualified seven SMSF auditors, imposed additional conditions on three other practitioners and cancelled one registration.
These enforcement measures have been imposed for a range of breaches, such as ASIC determining the individual was not a fit and proper person to remain a registered auditor or compliance failures with regard to auditing and assurance standards, independence requirements and registration conditions.
The individuals disqualified from being SMSF auditors are Donald Douglas, Clive Henley, Michael Macleod, Phillip Lloyd Scott, Leo Sheppet, Wayne Simpson and Graeme Whyte. These individuals are now ineligible to reapply to have their registrations reinstated and all of them have been included on ASIC’s public banned and disqualified register.
ASIC noted Henley has applied to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to have his disqualification reviewed.
Additional conditions regarding their registration were imposed on Biren Joshi, Narendra Kasandaria and Leslie McMillan. These supplementary obligations can range from having to sit the SMSF auditor competency exam, having to undertake additional professional development activities and having independent reviews of three audit files and/or audit tools, templates and methodology.
Finally, Mark Wright had his registration cancelled.
The ATO referred 10 of the above individuals to ASIC while one person was found non-compliant with their registration requirements.
“SMSF auditors play an essential role in supporting confidence in the SMSF sector. To protect the integrity of the SMSF sector, ASIC will continue to act against SMSF auditors whose conduct falls short or who do not meet their obligations,” ASIC commissioner Danielle Press said.
In January, ASIC cancelled the registration of 374 SMSF auditors.