How to Become an SMSF Auditor?

The concept of self-managed super funds (SMSFs)  is gaining popularity in Australia. Many people - young and old - have their own SMSFs to plan their own retirement funds.

While SMSF merits full control, it is absolutely wrong to think that it is an easy job. It is important to note that you must be aware of the compliance requirements and regulations set by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). 

With the current bill lobbied under the government that proposes a 3-year audit for some SMSFs, more skilled and seasoned SMSF auditors are needed to audit these super funds, making sure the funds are compliant to ATO and ASIC regulations. 

But what does it take to be an SMSF auditor? Can you audit your own SMSF? Can you let your friend audit your SMSF? Below are the things you need to do to be a registered SMSF auditor. 

The Initial Requirements for SMSF Auditor Registrations 

To become an SMSF auditor, you have to meet the following requirements: 

  • Are an Australian resident
  • Have related and practical experience and; 
  • Have passed a competency examination
  • Hold certain educational requirements such as 

Competency Exam

This exam for self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) auditors is set as part of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act) to register approved SMSF auditors.

We have created the exam questions with the help of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and representatives from the following professional associations:

  • Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (formerly Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia)
  • CPA Australia, and
  • Institute of Public Accountants

Educational Requirements 

You should have the prescribed qualifications, such as a degree, diploma or certificate from a prescribed university or institution that represents a course of study in accounting, of not less than 3 years, and either:

  • that degree, diploma, or certificate must include a course of study in auditing; or

If the degree, diploma or certificate does not include a course in auditing, you must have completed the SMSF specialist auditor program offered by the Self Managed Super Fund Association (formerly the SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia).

Evidence You Must Provide

You must provide evidence of your educational qualifications, including a copy of your academic transcript or record, to support your application.

ASIC Portal Registration 

ASIC has posted the Regulatory Guide 243 that explains how to apply for registration as an approved SMSF auditor. 

To register, you need to: 

  • Secure criminal history and bankruptcy checks in the past 10 years of all the countries you have resided 
  • Send an application via ASIC's Regulatory Portal
  • Attach all your supporting documents as you process through the online application
  • Pay the application fee

Steps to Register on the ASIC Regulatory Portal 

  1. Go to the ASIC Regulatory Portal

  1. Create your portal account

  • Before you can register, choose your preferred title from the list.
  • Select your type of registration.
  • Enter your registration number.
  1. Fill out your details

To identify your account, fill out the necessary information: 

  • Your name 
  • Date of birth
  • Email address, and 
  • Mobile number 
  1. Confirm your information

  • The ASIC will send you an email to validate your account, prompting you to set a new password.
  • Once done, you will be directed to the login page. Try logging into your account and access the portal  

To apply for SMSF auditor registration:

After registering your account to the ASIC portal, you need to follow these steps to continue and register as an SMSF auditor: 

  1. Select 'Transactions' from the top navigation bar, and then select 'All transactions index' from the drop-down list. This will take you to a page listing all available transactions.
  2. Click ‘Apply for SMSF auditor registration’. This will direct you to a landing page for the registration application. This page contains all the necessary details about fees, relevant legislation, privacy, etc.
  3. Click the 'Launch transaction' button at the bottom of the landing page to start your application.

The Obligations of Approved SMSF Auditors

To be an SMSF auditor means that you are able to accomplish the on-going obligations of approved SMSF auditors, which include:

  • compliance with any conditions imposed on your registration
  • complying to the CPD units
  • complying with the ASIC Competency Standards and AUASB Standards
  • holding professional indemnity insurance
  • lodging an annual statement with ASIC
  • notifying ASIC of certain matters

Can You Conduct SMSF Audits? 

For an SMSF auditor to conduct SMSF audits, he/she must follow these guidelines:

  • be registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission
  • have a valid SMSF auditor number (SAN)
  • meet ongoing obligations as prescribed by the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SISA) and the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 (SISR), and
  • comply with ongoing ASIC registration requirements including:  
    • keeping your auditor details up to date
    • lodging your annual statement.

After meeting all the initial requirements, ASIC must be satisfied that you are fit for the position, not subject to any suspension, and are capable of doing your duties and responsibilities. 

For transparency, under the SIS Act, ASIC has a complete record of approved SMSF auditors, and banned or disqualified SMSF auditors.  

Super Audits: Registered SMSF Auditors

Super Audits is a leading provider of company auditing and SMSF auditing solutions with a team of professional, registered and approved auditors   

No matter where you are in Australia, Super Audits can assist you throughout the audit preparation process with our expert team. Contact us today! 

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