ASIC disqualifies two SMSF auditors

ASIC disqualified two self-managed super fund auditors - one in South Australia and one in the ACT - for breaching independence requirements.

The South Australian auditor, John Tretola, was found to have breached his independence requirements of APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants. He did so by auditing his own fund and a fund for which he was the trustee.

The Canberra auditor, Robert Newham, breached the same requirements by auditing his own fund as well as funds where his staff had prepared relevant financial statements. He also did not comply with continuing professional development requirements.

"SMSF auditors play a fundamental role in promoting confidence in the SMSF sector so it is crucial that they adhere to ethical standards and other requirements," ASIC commissioner John Price said.

"ASIC will continue to take action where the conduct of SMSF auditors is inadequate," he said.

Last month, ASIC disqualified a Melbourne SMSF auditor who is currently serving a jail term for previous charges.

Nayanaka Arjuna Samarakoon pleaded guilty to criminal offences that included dealing with property reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime and attempting to obtain a financial advantage by deception.

"On this basis, ASIC determined that Samarakoon was not fit and proper to be an SMSF auditor," ASIC said.

Samarakoon's disqualification order was passed on 30 January and came into effect on 6 February.

In October 2017, the Melbourne County Court sentenced Samarakoon to 29 months' imprisonment for working as a tax professional for a company that fraudulently claimed $549,719 under the Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive.

Read more: ASICSMSFNayanaka Arjuna SamarakoonCode of Ethics for Professional AccountantsDevelopment R&D Tax IncentiveJohn PriceJohn TretolaRobert Newham
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