The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) have launched a joint operation cracking down on a number of SMEs in Victoria, which accountants are being told may affect their clients.
Business swoop puts accounting clients on ASIC's radar
ASIC and FWO will audit 50 businesses in the Melbourne CBD and inner suburbs in their second joint operation which is taking place today and tomorrow.
FWO inspectors will be checking time and wage records to ensure employers are paying their workers correctly and complying with pay slip and record-keeping requirements.
Meanwhile, ASIC analysts will be aiming to raise awareness of the role of ASIC and the tools and resources that are available to assist small businesses with their compliance obligations.
“During the joint campaign the FWO and ASIC will be auditing businesses across a range of industries including hospitality, fast food, retail and education services,” an FWO spokesperson told Accountants Daily.
“Businesses have been randomly selected and have been notified of the visits in advance.”
While no accounting or professional services firms will be specifically targeted during the campaign, a spokesperson for FWO told Accountants Daily that accountants may become involved in relation to businesses they advise who are visited.
ASIC chairman, Greg Medcraft, highlighted the importance of education and noted that many small businesses face challenges in simply keeping track of their obligations.
“Businesses with first-time company directors will be a focus of the campaign, with the aim of providing them early on with the resources and information they need to understand and meet their obligations,” Mr Medcraft said.
According to Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James, both agencies want to make it as easy as possible for small businesses to access the advice and support they need to comply with their various legislative obligations.
“A major objective of the joint campaign is to educate employers about their responsibilities and arm them with the tools they need to build a culture of compliance within their business,” Ms James said.
“Where instances of non-compliance are identified, Fair Work inspectors will assist employers to rectify the issues and put in place processes to ensure the same issues do not arise in the future.”