ATO Audits 300 SMSF Auditors 2018
The ATO will action over 300 audits of registered SMSF Auditors and are already underway with this action. The inherent and underlying factor behind this move from the ATO is to ensure the independence and integrity of all SMSF Approved Auditors auditing processes.
This action was sparked by the ATO as a way to determine whether there was compliance with APES 110 as numerous auditors have been referred to ASIC for assessment of their “Independence” and their Competency in the discharging of their auditing duties.
As many as 117 SMSF Auditors have been deregistered by ASIC in the last 12 months, pending further investigation, and this is a direct result of the ATO’s action to audit SMSF Auditors throughout the Financial Year of 2017/2018.
The ATO has identified characteristics in deregistered SMSF Auditors during their auditing process:
- Auditors performing audits on those that manage the Auditor's personal SMSF.
- A family relationship between the SMSF Auditor and the SMSF they are auditing.
- Partners within firms auditing one another’s portfolio of SMSFs.
- Sole auditor within the firm signing off on staff member audits.
- Lack of compliance within asset valuation in line with the recent legislation changes.
- Absence of evidence and sufficient record-keeping of SMSF auditing.
- Not building safeguards to ensure independence compliance in auditing processes.
This has been a harsh lesson to learn for many SMSF Auditors. The subsequent deregistration of many SMSF Auditors by ASIC has shown the extent of why this was necessary and why the ATO will continue to carry out these arbitrary audits.
As part of the auditing undertaken by the ATO, Super Audits has recently been reviewed by ATO Practice Review Audit and satisfied the ATO’s criteria in every respect. Any current and future clients can rest assured that Super Audits have and always will maintain the highest standards of professionalism, competency, and independence to meet the expectations of all regulatory authorities, trustees, and clients which has an always will be our highest priority.