Auditors warned on changing ACR approach
Following the introduction of the ATO’s penalty regime for SMSF trustees, auditors should not avoid lodging auditor contravention reports (ACRs) to prevent penalties for their clients, according to Super Sphere.
Speaking at the CPA’s SMSF Conference last week, Super Sphere’s director Belinda Aisbett said that if an auditor avoids lodging an ACR in the hope that their client will not get penalised, they need to “seriously check” their independence.
“As far as I am concerned, if you are choosing not to lodge an ACR because you want to be best mates with your clients, then your independence is absolutely and categorically flawed,” Ms Aisbett said.
“The last [time] I checked… the fine for not lodging an ACR when you are obligated to lodge one is $5,000 per offence for the auditor.
“There should be no change in your approach, and if the clients get a penalty, unfortunately, auditors shouldn’t be losing sleep over that. You haven’t been the one to breach the rules, the trustee has.”