Jailed SMSF auditor struck off ASIC's list
ASIC this afternoon announced Nayanaka Arjuna Samarakoon, formerly of BPO Connect, has been disqualified as an approved SMSF auditor.
The corporate regulator made the decision based on Mr Samarakoon serving jail time after pleading guilty to and being convicted of criminal offences.
The related offences include dealing with property reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime, and attempting to obtain a financial advantage by deception.
Based on all of these factors, ASIC concluded that Mr Samarakoon was not a fit and proper person to be an SMSF auditor.
SMSF auditors are a principal regulatory focus for both ASIC and the ATO. Since auditor registration was mandated in 2013, independence in particular has been a key surveillance area.
“As co-regulators of SMSF auditors, both the ATO and ASIC consider the independence and competency of SMSF auditors, together with the quality of SMSF audits undertaken by registered SMSF auditors, paramount,” said assistant commissioner at the ATO Kasey Macfarlane in a recent address.
The ATO will be visiting 300 firms which provide SMSF audits in 2018, to “seek assurance” on items such as independence.
In the financial year to date, the ATO has now made 31 referrals to ASIC for concerns over SMSF auditors, which is nine up from referrals made for all of the 2016/17 financial year.