In a public communication, ASIC said that in November last year, it sent a final warning to 404 approved SMSF auditors with outstanding annual statements, alerting them that their registration would be cancelled if their statements were not lodged with the fees paid.
“Of the auditors sent a final notice, 287 lodged their annual statements,” ASIC said.
The remaining 117 auditors were sent a notice of cancellation.
Approved SMSF auditors, ASIC said, are required to lodge an annual statement with ASIC within 30 days of the annual anniversary of their registration.
“ASIC sends email notifications on anniversary dates advising that annual statements are ready for completion. If an extension of time to lodge the annual statement is required, a written request to ASIC must be made before the due date,” said the corporate regulator.
“An annual statement is not considered lodged until the required lodgement fee has been paid.”
An unregistered auditor, ASIC stated, is not permitted to audit a SMSF.
“Conducting an audit of an SMSF when not permitted to do so may have further serious consequences for the fund and the auditor,” it said.
“Approved SMSF auditors can confirm if they have lodged annual statements or update their contact details by accessing their ASIC Connect account.”
ASIC also disqualified approved SMSF auditor, Paul Tattersall from Western Australia, for breaching independence requirements.
Mr Tattersall breached the auditor-independence requirements of APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants in auditing his own fund and the fund of an immediate family member, ASIC said in a statement.
He also audited a fund where an immediate family member had prepared the financial statements.
“SMSF auditors play a fundamental role in promoting confidence in the SMSF sector so it is crucial that they adhere to ethical standards,” said ASIC commissioner John Price.
“ASIC will continue to take action where the conduct of SMSF auditors is inadequate.”
Mr Tattersall was referred to ASIC by the ATO under section 128P of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act).
Since 1 July 2013, the SIS Act requires all SMSF auditors of SMSFs to be registered with ASIC to ensure they all meet the base standards of competency and expertise, ASIC said.
Miranda Brownlee and Adrian Flores are content providers of Accountants Daily. Read here for accounting daily breaking news, analysis and insight to Australian accounting professionals.