ASIC zeroes in on SMSF auditors

ASIC has taken action against three SMSF auditors for breaches and deficiencies in their auditing.

The corporate regulator disqualified a pair of SMSF auditors and imposed conditions on another, after it found the auditors to be deficient across a range of their responsibilities, including meeting independence and auditing standards.

Alan Bentwitch of New South Wales was disqualified for failing to have peer reviews of three of his audits, a condition imposed on his registration following a referral from the Australian Tax Office.

Queensland auditor Darryl Iseppi was also stripped of his qualification after ASIC discovered "significant auditor independence breaches" and deficiencies in auditing the acquisition or shares, borrowings, valuation of assets, compliance with in-house asset requirements and "regarding a non-commutable life pension."

New South Wales auditor Richard Hennessy is now required to have his audits reviewed by another SMSF auditor.

He can no longer audit funds where there are independence threats "irrespective of the safeguards" after ASIC found deficiencies in his ability to maintain auditor independence and in the quality of his auditing.

Hennessy is also required to completed specific courses in ethics and auditing, and will need to provide his professional association with a copy of the conditions.

The three auditors were referred to ASIC by the ATO under the SIS Act, with the two organisations engaged in a close relationship over the regulation of SMSF auditors.

Read more: AuditorSMSFASICAlan BentwitchRichard HennessyAustralian Tax OfficeDarryl IseppiSIS Act
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