ASIC cancels 117 SMSF auditor registrations, disqualifies another auditor

The registrations of 117 approved SMSF auditors have been cancelled, for failing to lodge their annual statements, ASIC has announced.

In November 2017 ASIC sent a final warning to 404 SMSF auditors with outstanding annual statements, with 287 of these auditors lodging their annual statements.

ASIC sent notice of cancellation to the remaining 117 auditors on 20 February 2018.

“An unregistered auditor is not permitted to audit a SMSF. Conducting an audit of an SMSF when not permitted to do so may have further serious consequences for the fund and the auditor,” said ASIC.

Approved SMSF auditors are required to lodge an annual statement with ASIC within 30 days of the annual anniversary of their registration.

Under the proposed ASIC fee-for-service model the fee for cancelling a registration as an SMSF auditor will go from $0 to $899. CAANZ has said that imposing a fee for cancelling an SMSF auditor registration is “inappropriate”.

ASIC maintains a register of SMSF auditors, which SMSF trustees and members can use to check if their auditor is registered.

ASIC disqualifies another SMSF auditor for independence breach

ASIC also announced that it has disqualified another SMSF auditor for breaching the auditor independence requirements.

There have been a number of SMSF auditor disqualifications recently for independence breaches.

ASIC said it has disqualified Paul Tattersall, of Western Australian, for breaching the independence requirements in APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants by auditing his own SMSF and the fund of an immediate family member. The regulator also said Mr Tattersall had audited a fund where an immediate family member had prepared the financial statements.

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 standards. ASIC will continue to take action where the conduct of SMSF auditors is inadequate.”

Information about Mr Tattersall was referred to ASIC by the ATO, as allowed for in the SIS Act.

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