|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