Speaking at the SPAA State Technical Conference this week, the ATO’s assistant commissioner for SMSFs, Matthew Bambrick, explained the ATO undertakes compliance work focused on approved auditors, given “they’re such a key part of the system”.
Mr Bambrick said the ATO audited 150 auditors last year.
“We did give details of 339 auditors to ASIC in relation to registration issues. And we have formally referred 13 auditors to ASIC that we actually have serious concerns about,” he said.
Those auditors are aware that they have been referred to ASIC, Mr Bambrick also noted.
Speaking previously to SMSF Adviser, the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia’s head of superannuation Liz Westover said the independence of auditors is a key 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.