Class order for SMSF auditors due to expire in April
ASIC says CO 12/1687 on competency standards for SMSF auditors is unnecessary and has proposed allowing the class order to expire.
ASIC has proposed allowing class order [CO 12/1687] Competency Standards for Approved SMSF Auditors to expire (‘sunset’) on 1 April 2023.
The class order is made under s128Q(1) of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act) and sets out competency standards for approved self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) auditors. The competency standards require approved SMSF auditors to have knowledge of laws applying to those auditors.
Approved SMSF auditors must also comply with the auditing and assurance standards and independence requirements under s128F of the SIS Act.
ASIC stated that it has formed the view that the class order is no longer required and does not form a necessary and relevant part of the legislative framework.
“ASIC disqualifies and suspends SMSF auditors for not complying with auditing and independence standards as required by s128F of the SIS Act,” the regulator said.
Speaking to SMSF Adviser, BDO, partner, superannuation Shirley Schaefer said the removal of the class order won’t have any impact from an SMSF auditor perspective as auditors need to comply with all the competency standards under the auditing standards anyway.
“The class order did distill [those standards] into a concise outline of what auditors need to do and what they need to know. It gave a summary of what ASIC would be looking at with auditor competency” explained Ms Schaefer.
“All it really did was list the relevant bits of the auditing standards and the SIS compliance legislation that you need to worry about. Now it’s up to the auditor to work out which are the relevant bits.”
ASIC has asked anyone adversely affected by the expiry of [CO 12/1687] or with feedback in relation to it, to make a submission by 10 March 2023.
ASIC made [CO 12/1687] back in 2012 under subsection 128Q(1) of the SIS Act, which ASIC to make competency standards that must be complied with by all approved SMSF auditors under s128F.
The competency standards were based on professional competency standards in existence at the time, the corporate regulator noted.
From 1 July 2013, the SIS Act required all auditors of SMSFs to be registered with ASIC.
“This was to ensure that all SMSF auditors meet at least base standards of competency and expertise,” ASIC said.
“Approved SMSF auditors must also comply with the auditing and assurance standards made by the Auditing and AssuranceStandards Board and prescribed independence requirements, being APES 110 Code of ethics for professional accountants (including independence standards) issued by the Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards Board (APESB).”