Government pushed to provide answers on audit cycle proposal
The Institute of Public Accountants said while it is currently in discussions with the Financial Services Minister and Treasury about the proposed three-year cycle for SMSF audits, further details about the policy will help the industry to understand its potential impact.
The IPA chief executive, Andrew Conway said the government needs to provide further information about the policy rationale behind the proposal to move to a three-year cycle for SMSF audits for funds with clean track records.
Mr Conway questioned whether reducing the audit cycle would enhance regulatory oversight and transparency in the SMSF sector.
"We know that now more than ever, in the financial services space, sunlight is the best disinfectant. Without an annual SMSF auditor oversight, how will the regulator of the SMSF sector, monitor compliance?” he questioned.
The potential issues around the policy, Mr Conway said, go far beyond the impact on SMSF auditors and speak to the very confidence and transparency of the SMSF sector.
"Arguments around compliance costs are myopic at best as trustees are likely to be required to have a three-year audit at greater total cost than the current 12-month review. Will the unsubstantiated audit cost-saving be worth the significant risks such a measure introduces?" he said.