SMSF auditor registration guidance issued

Dec 11, 2012

The Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) yesterday released guidance to assist auditors of self managed superannuation funds (SMSF) register with ASIC. The guidance has been issued ahead of a new registration scheme for auditors to commence on 31 January 2013 as part of the Federal Government’s ‘Stronger Super’ reforms.

Regulatory Guide 243 Registration of self-managed superannuation fund auditors (RG 243) explains how to apply for registration as an approved SMSF auditor, the types of registers of SMSF auditors maintained by ASIC and the transitional arrangements for the registration of existing approved auditors of SMSFs.

Applications for registration can be made from 31 January 2013 and auditors will need to be registered with ASIC to conduct audits of SMSFs from 1 July 2013. ASIC advises that any transition concessions are only available for auditors who are registered by 30 June 2013.

From 1 July 2013, to be engaged by the trustee of an SMSF to audit their fund and sign the IAR an auditor must be registered with ASIC as an approved SMSF auditor. SMSF trustees will be required to provide the SMSF Auditor Number (SAN) of their appointed auditor when lodging their SMSF annual return (SAR).

Applicants must pass an ASIC-approved competency test before receiving their registration. Some existing approved auditors that apply for registration as an approved SMSF auditor before 1 July 2013 and meet certain conditions - may be registered on the basis that they pass the competency test by 1 July 2014. 

ASIC has also released proposed competency standards ([CO 12/1687] Competency standards for approved SMSF auditors). ASIC intends to execute the final standards in this form later this week. The competency standards for auditors of self-managed superannuation funds detail ongoing requirements for registered SMSF auditors and will apply from 1 July 2013. These standards are based on pre-existing standards issued by The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, CPA Australia and the Institute of Public Accountants, which also apply to members of the Superannuation Professionals’ Association of Australia Limited, thus ensuring continuity in requirements for most SMSF auditors.

ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said ‘SMSF auditors play an important role as gatekeepers in providing an independent opinion on SMSF financial reports and compliance with legislative requirements. In this regard, auditors assist in protecting the retirement income of thousands of Australians.

‘By setting appropriate standards for SMSF auditors, the new regime will help provide better protection of every day Australians in their retirement’, Mr Tanzer said.

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Tags: Accountant SydneyChartered AccountantRetirementSMSFSuper

Author: Mr Taxman

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