ASIC points to flaws in auditor applications
Failure to meet the relevant experience requirements has seen a number of applications for becoming an SMSF registered auditor rejected, says the corporate regulator.
ASIC commissioner Greg Tanzer said often when ASIC rejects applications it’s related to the fact the applicant has not met the experience requirements.
“To be eligible for registration most people know that you need to have at least 300 hours of experience with auditing SMSFs over three years, all under the supervision of an approved SMSF auditor,” said Mr Tanzer.
“Some of the problems that we tend to see in the applications that come forward are that people don’t have that experience, they might have that experience but they haven’t been adequately supervised, or their supervisor isn’t able to provide an appropriate certification.”
Another issue Mr Tanzer said is that “quite often” people will misconstrue basic accounting services as an audit type service.
“There is clearly a significant difference between doing work on the accounts and actually auditing the accounts,” he said.
Mr Tanzer said ASIC remained focused on raising auditor standards by ensuring auditors have the right qualifications and are “producing quality audits for SMSFs”.
Recently he said there have been seven disqualifications for a range of things including lack of competence and we’ve also accepted the cancellation of another seven to ten registrations.
“We’ve also imposed conditions on auditors particularly where they’ve provided misleading information or lied to either the Tax Office or ourselves about their ongoing compliance obligations,” he said.
“[This is] in addition to the 400 registrations we cancelled in the past financial year, for failure to complete the exam requirement.”
“The vast majority of professionals in this field are exactly that, they are professional, hard-working, they do a good job, but we all know there are some people in the profession who don’t do that, either because they’re cutting corners or they might have some particular problem. It’s in everyone’s interest that those people are removed from the profession.”
Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.
Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.