On 10.8.17, ASIC announced that it had disqualified Mr R of New South Wales from being an approved self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) auditor for auditing the SMSF of a close family member.

ASIC determined that Mr R had breached fundamental independence and audit requirements. Given the nature of these breaches, it was considered appropriate to disqualify Mr R. ASIC found that Mr R had breached:

  • auditor independence requirements of APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, where he audited the fund of a close family member;
  • audit evidence requirements of Australian auditing standards.

ASIC Commissioner John Price said, ‘SMSF auditors play a fundamental role in promoting confidence in the SMSF sector so it is crucial that they adhere to ethical and professional standards. ASIC will continue to take action where the conduct of SMSF auditors is inadequate.’

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 at connectonline.asic.gov.au

Background

Information about Mr Russo was referred to ASIC by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) under section 128P of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (which is about the Commissioner of Taxation being able to refer matters to ASIC about an SMSF auditor).

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 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.

[ASIC Media Release 17-265MR; FJM; LTN 151, 10/8/17; TT August]

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