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ATO makes changes to independent auditor’s report

By Adrian Flores
18 May 2020 — 1 minute read

The Tax Office has made changes to the SMSF independent auditor’s report (IAR) for reporting periods starting on or after 1 July 2019.

Replacing the previous IAR that was effective for reporting periods commencing 1 July 2016, the ATO said recent changes include:

  • Additional wording has been added to make it clearer how auditors can make a modification to the audit report where a qualified or adverse opinion is required. The ATO said the modification wording for a Disclaimer of opinion can be found in a footnote to the report.
  • A reordering of paragraphs in Part B, Compliance Engagement. The ATO said the paragraph which refers to the sections of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act (SISA) and regulations of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations (SISR) that require compliance assurance (now called the “listed provisions”) has been moved under the opinion clause.
  • Clearly articulating the auditor’s responsibilities so they are more consistent with the auditing standards.
  • Updating the form to refer to the most recent version of the APES110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants which now includes the independence standards, which was issued in November 2018 and commenced on 1 January 2020.

“All auditors should be complying with this version of the code when conducting the annual SMSF audit,” the ATO said.


The ATO said auditors must use the new form for reporting periods starting on or after 1 July 2019.

However, it added that it understands that some auditors may have already used the previous version of the form for the reporting period commencing on 1 July 2019 if they were auditing a fund that may have wound up during the 2019–2020 income year.

“If this has occurred, we will still accept the previous version of the form as having met the 2019–2020 reporting requirements,” the ATO said.

Changes bring the IAR in line with the equivalent form prepared by auditors of Australian Prudential and Regulation Authority (APRA) funds.

Sections or regulations listed in Appendix 1 of the report requiring compliance assurance remain unchanged.

The previous version of the IAR form effective for reporting periods commencing on 1 July 2016 will be temporarily available up to 1 July 2020, after which it will be removed from the ATO website.

The new SMSF Independent Auditor’s Report can be accessed here.

ATO makes changes to independent auditor’s report
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Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser. Before that, he was the features editor for ifa (Independent Financial Adviser), InvestorDaily, Risk Adviser, Fintech Business and Adviser Innovation.

You can email Adrian at [email protected].

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