The number of approved SMSF auditors continues to decline, reaching a new low of 6,039 at the end of 2017/18 according to the latest ASIC figures.
The number of SMSF auditors is at its lowest point since they started to be registered with ASIC for 2013/14.
Data source: ASIC Annual Report 2017/18
The number of SMSF auditors currently could be lower, with a number of disqualifications occurring, including 3 last week alone. These disqualifications have largely been for independence issues, such as auditing their own funds or the funds of family members.
ASIC says in its 2017/18 annual report that 155 SMSF auditors were removed from the register. 12 of these were disqualifications, 117 were for failing to lodge the annual statement, and 26 were voluntarily requested cancellations – after concerns were raised by ASIC. In each of these areas the number of removals was lower than the previous year. ASIC also imposed conditions on the registrations of 9 SMSF auditors.
Since becoming responsible for registering SMSF auditors, ASIC says it has disqualified 76 auditors. One SMSF auditor had their registration suspended for a period, and 24 had conditions imposed on their registration. The reason for these actions included not meeting the auditor independence requirements, not complying with the auditing standards, not identifying or reporting non-compliance or not meeting the ‘fit and proper’ person test.
ASIC Commissioner John Price said that SMSF auditors “perform an important role in giving independent assurance over fund financial reports and reporting non-compliances with fund requirements”.
“As gatekeepers, they are expected to adhere to the highest standards in the performance of their role. ASIC will continue to take action where the conduct of SMSF auditors is inadequate,” he said.