Auditors firmly on ATO’s radar, says ICAA

The Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia has warned the ATO is continuing to monitor auditor activity, with independence being a key focus.

Speaking to SMSF Adviser, the ICAA’s head of superannuation Liz Westover said while most SMSF auditors are “doing a great job,” auditor activity remains a focus for the ATO.

“A number of risk factors that may indicate that an auditor is not carrying out a quality audit include fees charged, contravention reports lodged and number of audits undertaken,” Ms Westover said.

“The SMSF auditor registration regime now means that the ATO can clearly identify those offering audit services to SMSF trustees. This means their surveillance capabilities have improved and they will be able to better identify auditors who are not fully meeting their professional obligations.”

Ms Westover also said independence of auditors is also a focus for the ATO in its compliance activities.

“Auditors must be independent to ensure they are able to form an unbiased opinion on the compliance of the SMSF and the accuracy of the financial reports. It is an opportune time for auditors to assess their independence on each SMSF audit engagement,” Ms Westover said.

“The professional accounting bodies issued their independence guide in 2013 to assist practitioners in meeting these professional and ethical obligations,” she added.

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