ASIC, Auditing, Compliance, SMSF

ASIC sanctions nine SMSF auditors

SMSF auditors ASIC Disqualification Compliance

ASIC has taken action to remove seven SMSF auditors from practice and imposed conditions on two more practitioners after referrals from the ATO.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has taken action against nine SMSF auditors, resulting in the disqualification of five, the cancellation of registrations for two and conditions imposed on two others.

The corporate watchdog stated it took the actions between 1 October 2023 and 31 December 2023 after receiving referrals from the ATO in regards to concerns about compliance with auditing and assurance standards, independence requirements, registration conditions or for not being a fit and proper person to remain an SMSF auditor.

Specifically, Stephen Bray, Kerpal Harnam, Terence Murphy, Johann Preller and David Sidhu were disqualified from being SMSF auditors and their names listed on ASIC’s public banned and disqualified register, and they are ineligible to reapply for registration. Subsequently, Murphy has requested ASIC review its disqualification decision.

Vincenzo Dissidomino and Vincent Crowe had their SMSF auditor registrations cancelled, while additional conditions were imposed upon the registrations of Timothy Davidson and Kylie Wilson.

These conditions vary from having an independent auditor review their audit tools and methodology, additional continuing professional development requirements, an independent review of their audit files and notifying a professional body of the conditions imposed upon them by ASIC.

ASIC deputy chair Sarah Court emphasised the necessity of regular compliance enforcement measures to preserve the fundamental integrity of the sector and ensure compliance with the obligations outlined in the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act.

“SMSF auditors are responsible for auditing over 611,000 SMSFs with total estimated assets of almost $900 billion. In this privileged position, they play a key role in upholding the integrity and confidence of the SMSF sector. ASIC will continue to take action where conduct falls short,” Court said.

ASIC’s enforcement actions have followed a quarterly pattern, with 11 SMSF auditors penalised in the September quarter and eight auditors facing consequences in the June quarter last year.

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