The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has cancelled the registration of nearly 30 SMSF auditors for failing to lodge annual statements, taking the number of cancellations past 400 for the first half of this year.
The cancellations follow communication from ASIC to more than 1400 SMSF auditors who had outstanding annual statements, with most lodging those documents after receiving the notice.
The corporate watchdog stated it had contacted 29 auditors on two separate occasions – on 3 August 2022 and 21 March 2023 – highlighting they were at risk of having their registration cancelled and further informed them on 22 May this year that the cancellation had taken place.
“While many of the cancelled SMSF auditors were active, they had failed to lodge their annual statements. This may be due to poor administrative practices such as failing to keep their contact details up to date on the SMSF auditor register,” it stated.
“SMSF auditors need to ensure they complete and lodge their annual statements as required or they risk cancellation of their registration. They also need to ensure their contact details are kept up to date,” it said, adding documents could be lodged and information updated via the ASIC Regulatory Portal.
The enforcement action takes the number of auditor registration cancellations to 403 for 2023 after ASIC took similar action against 374 SMSF auditors in January of this year. In May 2022, it cancelled the registration of 10 auditors for a second time for failing to lodge annual statements after their registration was cancelled and then reinstated between 2016 and 2018.
SMSF auditors have been required since 1 July 2013 to be registered with ASIC and to lodge an annual statement within 30 days of the anniversary of their registration, which provides compliance information required under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act.
ASIC commissioner Danielle Press said: “ASIC expects SMSF auditors to comply with their regulatory obligations given the important role they play in promoting confidence in the SMSF sector. ASIC will continue to monitor whether SMSF auditors are complying with their obligations and take action where their conduct falls short.”