|Do you have a potential issue with SMSF audit independence? If so, it’s not viable to turn a blind eye. Now is the time to ascertain whether your audit arrangements would withstand rigorous scrutiny by the ATO, and if not, to do something about it… fast. |
Having announced repeatedly that they would crack down on SMSF audit independence, the ATO has actively been assessing, reviewing and auditing SMSF auditors and audit arrangements, with a focus on the issue of genuine independence. Auditors who do not live up to the highest standard of audit independence are being referred to ASIC and/or asked to relinquish their SMSF audit portfolio.
Independence rules are black and white
Auditors cannot be a trustee or member of a fund they audit. Auditors cannot also be the person who prepared the SMSF accounts. In sole-practitioner situations, where the staff prepare the financial statements and either the auditor or a senior staff member sign off on them, the ATO’s view is that this creates an independence issue because the staff report directly to a sole-practitioner auditor. Moreover, addressing issues with clients can be difficult when funds do not comply.
Benefits of a truly independent audit:
Do you know where to turn?
Call 1300 551 261 for more information.
The Saul SMSF Team
1300 551 261