On Tuesday 30 October 2018, ASIC announced that it had disqualified two separate self-managed superannuation funds (SMSF) auditors: John Gilliland and Douglas Coghlan, both of Queensland, for breaching independence requirements.
ASIC found both Mr Gilliland and Mr Coghlan had separately breached auditor independence requirements in auditing their own funds, the fund of an immediate family member and the fund of a close family member.
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.
Information about Mr Gilliland, and separately about Mr Couglan, was referred to ASIC by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) under section 128P of the SIS Act.
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.
CPD questions (answers available)
- Were two SMSF auditors disqualified by ASIC?
- Was the problem breach of the independence standards (in auditing their own funds, the fund of an immediate family member and the fund of a close family member)?
- Who reported the Auditors to ASIC?
- Under what section of the SIS Act?