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SMSF auditor disqualified for breaching independence standards

The corporate regulator has disqualified an SMSF auditor for breaching independence standards by auditing a family member’s fund.

SMSF Tony Zhang 30 June 2021
— 1 minute read

ASIC has disqualified the self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) auditor registration of Gordon Victor Shrubsole, of Miranda, New South Wales, for breaching independence and auditing standards. 

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The regulator found Mr Shrubsole lacked independence when he audited a close family member’s fund. 

“He was deficient in planning audits, failed to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to support the valuation of assets, and issued auditor reports that were not in the approved form,” ASIC said.

“SMSF auditors are fundamental to the SMSF sector and must meet minimum standards of behaviour to ensure they act and are seen to act with integrity and objectivity.

“Where SMSF auditors fail to meet the minimum standards of behaviour expected of them, ASIC will take action to protect the integrity of the SMSF sector.”

Information about Mr Shrubsole was referred to ASIC by the Australian Taxation Office under section 128P of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act).

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. 

Mr Shrubsole is now listed in the public register of disqualified SMSF auditors.

As firms start bracing for the incoming auditor independence standards changes, the consequences of breaching independence standards have been strongly outlined by the ATO, with firms breaching the standards after 1 July 2021 to be referred to ASIC for further action.

SMSF auditor disqualified for breaching independence standards
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