As reported yesterday, the ATO is upping its surveillance of SMSF audits and auditors this financial year, in an effort to ensure quality and independence are maintained.
Auditor independence, in particular, remains an ongoing area of concern for the ATO, said director Howard Dickinson at the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) National SMSF Conference yesterday.
“It’s so amazing how many SMSF auditors are still failing the basic independence requirements,” said Mr Dickinson.
“Hopefully none in this room, but I can tell you some of them are from CA ANZ,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, EY’s executive director for financial services Matina Moffitt discussed findings from ATO surveillance last year, which suggest auditor independence breaches remain prevalent.
The ATO focused on 360 auditors who were identified as being both the tax agent and auditor for many funds. The results of this review were that 25 per cent of that group required further surveillance, as they appeared to be in breach of their independence requirements.
A further 17 per cent acknowledged threats to their independence, but said they had already taken action to resolve the issue or proposed a plan to do so.