Five disqualifications and three conditional registrations add to the regulator’s tally of more than 400 actions in its compliance crusade.
ASIC crackdown claims 8 more SMSF auditors
ASIC has disqualified five SMSF auditors and sanctioned three more for failing to satisfy fit-and-proper person requirements or breaches of auditing standards, independence requirements and registration conditions.
Paul Barry, Stephen Funder, Bruce Jones, Gregory Leggett and Malcolm Orman were disqualified from being SMSF auditors and their names have been added to ASIC’s public banned register. They are ineligible to reapply for registration although Mr Funder has already requested a review of the decision by the AAT.
Toby Dodd, Mark Gregson and Clayton Lawrence have each had specific additional conditions imposed on their SMSF auditor registration. These involve undertaking professional development, independent reviews of their audit files and tools, and notifying their professional association of the conditions.
The actions by ASIC, over the last quarter of FY2022-23, add to the 413 cancellations of SMSF auditors as part of a crackdown on compliance in the sector.
“In the last year, ASIC has acted against 26 SMSF auditors who failed to meet the independence and auditing standards, or whose conduct called into question the integrity of SMSF audits,” ASIC commissioner Danielle Press said.
“The SMSF sector holds more than $865 billion in assets in over 600,000 funds and it is crucial that SMSF auditors comply with their regulatory obligations. “ASIC will continue to take action where the conduct of SMSF auditors is inadequate.”
Seven SMSF auditors were referred to ASIC by the ATO while information about one auditor was disclosed to ASIC by another government body.
Approved SMSF auditors are registered with ASIC which works with the ATO to regulator the profession. The ATO can refer matters to ASIC, which has the power to monitor SMSF auditors and and disqualify, suspend, cancel or impose additional conditions on registration.
SMSF auditors have the right to appeal decisions ASIC makes against them. If the decision is confirmed or varied the SMSF auditor can apply to the AAT for further review.