More auditors booted for handling their own SMSFs

More auditors booted for handling their own SMSFs

ASIC

ASIC has disqualified another two SMSF auditors, after it was found they breached some fundamental independence requirements. 

South Australian SMSF auditor, John Tretola, audited his own fund and a fund where he was the trustee, ASIC said in a statement released this afternoon.

The corporate regulator also found Mr Tretola didn’t identify and report SIS Act contraventions.

ASIC also disqualified ACT-based SMSF auditor Robert Newham, after it was found that he audited his own fund and audited funds where his staff had prepared the financial statements.

Further, Mr Newham failed to comply with his continuing professional development requirements.

Both auditors were referred to ASIC by the tax office. The ATO and ASIC have a data sharing arrangement in place, as co-regulators of SMSF auditors.

ASIC has been active in publicising its auditor SMSF disqualifications so far in 2018, particularly those who have breached the independence requirements. Late last month, ASIC scrapped an auditor for auditing his own fund, the fund of an immediate family member and a fund where he was the trustee.

The corporate regulator’s public approach is a clear warning shot to the audit community, which has been higher on the regulator radar since auditor registration was introduced in 2013.

For example, earlier this year, the ATO said it will be visiting 300 SMSF audit firms in 2018, in a bid to seek assurance on key compliance requisites, including independence.

“SMSF auditors play a fundamental role in promoting confidence in the SMSF sector so it is crucial that they adhere to ethical standards and other requirements. ASIC will continue to take action where the conduct of SMSF auditors is inadequate,” said ASIC commissioner John Price earlier today.

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More auditors booted for handling their own SMSFs
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