SMSF auditors in firing line

ASIC has cracked down on a number of auditors of self-managed super funds, which the regulator said have failed to meet their requirements.

"ASIC has moved to disqualify, or suspend and/or add conditions to the registration of, a number of auditors of SMSFs," the regulator said.

"The actions arose following ASIC concerns about failures to meet requirements including independence standards and auditing standards, failing to comply with Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements and otherwise not being a fit and proper person."

Philip Shugg from Victoria has been disqualified from being an SMSF auditor for "not being a fit and proper person" noting that he was bankrupt.

Greg Marlow from the Northern Territory have been suspended for a year and had conditions imposed  for "significant deficiencies" in auditing the ownership and valuation of fund assets, lease agreements, whether transactions were on an arm's-length basis, and compliance with personal use and collectable asset rules.

The regulator said he also issued an audit report in an incorrect form, and did not obtain signed financial statements.

John Redenbach, Lenneke Serjeant and Darren Tappouras - all from New South Wales - and Angelo Covelli from Victoria, have had conditions imposed on them, with ASIC saying they will be disqualified or suspended if they are found in breach of any condition.

The various conditions imposed across the auditors were having a number of audits reviewed by an independent SMSF auditor for compliance with auditing standards, performing and reporting on specific independence threat assessments for all clients and being restricted from conducting any audits in independence threat situations regardless of any safeguards.

Each auditor will also have to provide a copy of the conditions to their professional association, complete specific courses of study, including in ethics and audit and pass the SMSF auditor competency exam.

ASIC praised the Australian Taxation Office for its assistance under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act (SIS Act).

"ASIC and the ATO work closely together as co-regulators of SMSF auditors," ASIC said.

"The ATO monitors SMSF auditor conduct and may refer matters to ASIC for possible action such as disqualification or suspension of their registration. ASIC may also impose conditions on an SMSF auditor."

Read more: ASICAngelo CovelliAustralian Taxation OfficeDarren TappourasGreg MarlowJohn RedenbachLenneke SerjeantPhilip Shugg
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