Accounting body wants answers on 3 year SMSF audit change

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The Institute of Public Accountants wants answers from the Government to questions about the 2018 Budget measure to move some SMSFs to audits every 3 years.

The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) said it was working with Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer and the Treasury around the policy.

“We need to understand the policy rationale for the proposal to move to three-year cycles for SMSF audits,” said IPA chief executive officer Andrew Conway.

“How does reducing the audit cycle enhance regulatory oversight and transparency in the SMSF sector?”

“We know, that now more than ever, in the financial services space, sunlight is the best disinfectant. Without an annual SMSF auditor oversight, how will the regulator of the SMSF sector, monitor compliance?”

“These issues go far beyond the impact on SMSF auditors and speak to the very confidence and transparency of the SMSF sector.”

“Arguments around compliance costs are myopic at best as trustees are likely to be required to have a three year audit at greater total cost than the current (12 month) review. Will the unsubstantiated audit cost-saving be worth the significant risks such a measure introduces?”

The SMSF Association has been supportive of the Budget announcement, with CEO John Maroney saying it was a “fitting reward” for SMSFs that kept to the rules and that it would cut red tape for the sector.

Though Mr Maroney also said the Association was “keenly” awaiting implementation details of the policy.

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