SMSF auditor disqualified for breaching independence rules

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ASIC disqualified SMSF auditor, independence requirements, fit and proper person testASIC has disqualified an SMSF auditor for breaching the independence requirements and failing the ‘fit and proper person’ test.

ASIC disqualified Abe Samuel of New South Wales from being an approved SMSF auditor, after finding that he have breached the independence requirements and “that he was not a fit and proper person to be an approved SMSF auditor”.

ASIC says Mr Samuel breached the auditor independence requirements of APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants by being “a member of a fund he audited and also the director of its corporate trustee” and had “the power of attorney holder for, and a relative of, a member of a fund he audited”.

“It is critical that approved SMSF auditors perform their role adequately and meet professional standards to promote confidence in the SMSF sector.  Compliance with the independence requirements is fundamental in fostering this confidence.  ASIC will continue to follow up matters referred by the ATO concerning the quality of SMSF auditors,” said ASIC Commissioner John Price.

The disqualification follows from a referral to ASIC from the ATO.

“ASIC and the ATO work closely together as co-regulators of SMSF auditors. The ATO monitors SMSF auditor conduct and may refer matters to ASIC for possible action such as disqualification or suspension of their registration,” said ASIC.

Since 1 July 2013 all SMSF auditors have been required to be registered with ASIC.

ASIC reminders SMSF trustees that they can check the registration status of their SMSF auditor at connectonline.asic.gov.au.

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