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Screenshot of a breaking news alert e-mail from Q2 2017
Australian regulator ASIC has just announced that it cancelled the registration of 117 approved self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) auditors who did not lodge their annual statements. Notice of cancellation was sent to these auditors on 20 February 2018.
On 10 November 2017, ASIC sent a final warning to 404 approved SMSF auditors with outstanding annual statements. ASIC had alerted these auditors on a number of occasions that their registration would be cancelled if their outstanding statements were not lodged with fees paid. Of the auditors sent a final notice, 287 lodged their annual statements.
An unregistered auditor is not permitted to audit a SMSF. Conducting an audit of an SMSF when not permitted to do so may have further serious consequences for the fund and the auditor.
Approved SMSF auditors can confirm if they have lodged annual statements or update their contact details by accessing their ASIC Connect account.
SMSF trustees and members can check whether their auditor is registered, or whether a person has been disqualified, by searching ASIC’s SMSF Auditor register.
From 1 July 2013, the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 required all auditors of SMSFs to be registered with ASIC. This was to ensure that all SMSF auditors at least meet the base standards of competency and expertise.
ASIC and the ATO work closely together as co-regulators of SMSF auditors. The ATO monitors SMSF auditor conduct and may refer matters to ASIC for possible action such as disqualification or suspension of their registration.
Approved SMSF auditors need to lodge an annual statement with ASIC within 30 days of the annual anniversary of their registration. ASIC sends email notifications on anniversary dates advising that annual statements are ready for completion. If an extension of time to lodge the annual statement is required, a written request to ASIC must be made before the due date. An annual statement is not considered lodged until the required lodgement fee has been paid.