In the wake of the royal commission, ASIC is focusing its resources and budgets on the actions that could cause the most “significant harm to consumers, investors and markets”.
Accountants will form part of ASIC’s monitoring of corporate governance practices which could undermine market integrity. This includes management of conflicts of interest by auditors and insolvency practitioners.
ASIC also flagged that internally, it is developing a new approach for reviewing merger and acquisition transaction documents.
“[This is] so we can better focus on those with a higher risk of unequal treatment of investors or adverse impacts on market integrity,” ASIC said.
SMSF set-up advice, which is often the domain of accountants, will also be an ongoing area of focus for ASIC in the coming years. This has been a focus for ASIC since the accountants’ exemption was phased out in 2016.