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CA ANZ takes aim at ASIC’s indicative levies


ASIC’s industry funding estimates, which often bear little resemblance to the significantly higher levies that follow, are routinely subject to delays that make it impossible for the industry to forward-plan, says one peak body.

By John Buckley 13 minute read

In a submission to ASIC on the Cost Recovery Implementation Statement for 2020–21 (CRIS 2020–21), Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) has cast doubt over the purpose of the regulator’s industry funding estimates, which are often published with massive delays, after actual levies are determined with significant increases.

Budget estimates for ASIC’s 2020–21 CRIS were first offered to Parliament in October 2020, before it was released on 23 July this year, some nine months later.

CA ANZ said that while ASIC’s latest CRIS offers estimates on levies that won’t take effect until January 2022, doubts remain over how well the industry will be able to plan, given that estimates have historically fallen far short of actual levies.


“The regulated population has been left guessing how much to budget from, in many cases, significantly reduced turnover in 2020–21 to meet ASIC’s levies,” CA ANZ said.

CA ANZ points to estimates released last June which suggested the 2019–20 industry levy for registered company auditors would be $628; liquidators, $101; and financial advisers, $1,571.

By November 2020, actual levies saw auditors faced with a levy of $811; liquidators, $79.16; and financial advisers, $2,064. A final CRIS was then released in March this year, but failed to reflect actual levies, and instead republished the same estimates released nine months prior.

The accounting body believes the CRIS serves little purpose if it fails to resemble the actual levies the industry tries to prepare for.

It said: “It does raise the question, if the final CRIS is released after levies are determined and does not reflect these actual levies, what is the purpose?”

CA ANZ also said it’s unreasonable for the regulator to set stringent deadlines on the industry, when the release of both the draft and final CRIS are released at ASIC’s discretion, leaving the industry without a mechanism to hold them accountable.

“The lack of timeliness shown by ASIC has seen it fall short of its stated purpose that ‘the CRIS will also provide industry with indicative levies for the following year to help them plan’,” CA ANZ said.

“This appears unreasonable when considered against the statutory burdens placed on the regulated population. For example, the requirement to provide an annual return for the period 2020–21 to ASIC no later than September 2021.

“If these annual returns are outside the designated time frame, penalties will apply. Yet it appears to be solely at ASIC’s discretion when a draft, and a final, CRIS are released.”

CA ANZ has now called on the regulator to hold themselves accountable for ensuring draft and final CRISs are published within their intended time frames.

“For ASIC to maintain, facilitate and improve Australia’s financial system, it must be transparent with, and accountable to, its regulated population,” the peak body said.

“That regulated population seeks transparency through estimates of levies being provided during the related financial period and actual levies detailed across activities for each subsector in the final CRIS.

“The regulated population seeks accountability through statutory time frames being placed on ASIC’s key events, with compensation provided to the regulated population if these time frames are not met.”

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John Buckley

John Buckley


John Buckley is a journalist at Accountants Daily. 

Before joining the team in 2021, John worked at The Sydney Morning Herald. His reporting has featured in a range of outlets including The Washington Post, The Age, and The Saturday Paper.

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