ASIC cancels registrations of SMSF auditors

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ASIC has cancelled the registration of 440 Self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) auditors who did not undertake or pass a competency exam necessary to retain their registration.

ASIC has also disqualified two SMSF auditors whose application for registration had overstated the number of SMSF audit reports issued by them in the preceding 12 months, thereby avoiding the requirement to sit the competency exam.

Of the 440 auditors whose registration was cancelled, 373 did not attempt the exam and 67 did not pass the exam.

Auditors were given up to two attempts to pass the exam and ASIC extended the period to pass the exam to 31 August 2014.

Commissioner Greg Tanzer said, ‘As the SMSF sector continues to grow in popularity with Australian investors, it is critical that SMSF auditors play their key gatekeeping role. ASIC will continue to administer the registration process to assure Australians that SMSF auditors at least meet base standards of competency and expertise’.

SMSF auditors who have had their registrations cancelled can re-apply for registration if they have passed the competency exam in no more than two attempts over the preceding 12 months. ASIC Regulatory Guide 243 Registration of self-managed superannuation fund auditorscontains more information on how to apply to be an SMSF auditor.

ASIC and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) work closely together as co-regulators of SMSF auditors. The ATO monitors SMSF auditor conduct and may refer matters to ASIC for possible disqualification or suspension of their registration.

SMSF trustees/ members can check whether their auditor is registered by searching ASIC’s SMSF auditor register at connectonline.asic.gov.au.

If a member/trustee is concerned that their SMSF auditor is not registered, they can report this to ASIC at www.asic.gov.au.

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