The regulator disqualifies five, cancels two and imposes conditions on two more in a crackdown on standards.
ASIC takes action against 9 SMSF auditors
ASIC disqualified five SMSF auditors and acted against four more in the final quarter of 2023 as it cracked down assurance standards, independence requirements and registration conditions.
Auditors Stephen Bray, Kerpal Harnam, Johann Preller, David Sidhu and Terence Murphy were disqualified from being SMSF auditors, with Mr Murphy requesting a review of the decision still to be determined.
In addition, Vincenzo Dissidomino and Vincent Crowe had their SMSF auditor registrations cancelled while Timothy Davidson and Kylie Wilson had additional conditions imposed on their registrations.
ASIC deputy chair Sarah Court said regulator oversight was vital because SMSF auditors were responsible for over 611,000 funds with assets of almost $900 billion.
“In this privileged position, they play a key role in upholding the integrity and confidence of the SMSF sector,” she said. “ASIC will continue to take action where conduct falls short.”
She said five of group were referred to ASIC by the ATO, which monitored SMSF auditor conduct. ASIC also scrutinised the SMSF auditor population for non-compliance and was empowered to disqualify, suspend, cancel or impose additional conditions on registration.
Conditions were specific to the auditor and could require undertaking additional professional development, passing the SMSF auditor competency exam, having independent reviews of SMSF audit files and/or audit tools, templates and methodology and notifying their professional accounting association of the additional conditions.
ASIC could also disqualify or suspend someone from being an approved SMSF auditor if the person had failed to carry out or perform adequately and properly the duties and functions of an auditor or was not a fit and proper person.
SMSF auditors have the right to appeal ASIC decisions and if it was confirmed or varied, they could apply to the AAT for further review.