The ICAA’s head of superannuation, Liz Westover, recently told AccountantsDaily’s sister publication, SMSF Adviser, that while most SMSF auditors are “doing a great job”, auditor activity remains a focus for the ATO.
“A number of risk factors that may indicate that an auditor is not carrying out a quality audit include fees charged, contravention reports lodged and number of audits undertaken,” Ms Westover said.
“The SMSF auditor registration regime now means that the ATO can clearly identify those offering audit services to SMSF trustees.
“This means their surveillance capabilities have improved and they will be able to better identify auditors who are not fully meeting their professional obligations,” she said.
Ms Westover said the independence of auditors is also a focus for the ATO in its compliance activities.
“Auditors must be independent to ensure they are able to form an unbiased opinion on the compliance of the SMSF and the accuracy of the financial reports. It is an opportune time for auditors to assess their independence on each SMSF audit engagement,” Ms Westover said.
“The professional accounting bodies issued their independence guide in 2013 to assist practitioners in meeting these professional and ethical obligations,” she added.