Post: ASIC continues to act against SMSF auditors

ASIC has acted against eight self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) auditors for breaches of their obligations. This included breaches of auditing and assurance standards, independence requirements, registration conditions, or because ASIC was satisfied the individual was not a fit and proper person to remain registered.

From 1 April 2023 to 30 June 2023, ASIC:

disqualified five SMSF auditors; and
imposed additional conditions on three SMSF auditors.
This is in addition to the cancellation of 413 SMSF auditors (22-121MR, 23-012MR and 23-150MR), as part of ASIC’s recent compliance program.

ASIC Commissioner Danielle Press said, ‘In the last year, ASIC has acted against 26 SMSF auditors who failed to meet the independence and auditing standards, or whose conduct called into question the integrity of SMSF audits. The SMSF sector holds more than $865 billion in assets in over 600,000 funds and it is crucial that SMSF auditors comply with their regulatory obligations. ASIC will continue to take action where the conduct of SMSF auditors is inadequate.’

Paul Barry, Stephen Funder, Bruce Jones, Gregory Leggett and Malcolm Orman were disqualified from being SMSF auditors. Their names have been placed on ASIC’s public banned and disqualified register and they are not eligible to reapply for registration. Mr Funder has applied to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for the disqualification decision to be reviewed.

Toby Dodd, Mark Gregson and Clayton Lawrence had additional conditions imposed on their SMSF auditor registration. Conditions are specific to the auditor (see the SMSF Auditor register), and can require undertaking additional professional development, having independent reviews of SMSF audit files and audit tools, templates and methodology, and notifying their professional accounting association of the additional conditions.

Seven SMSF auditors were referred to ASIC by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and official information about one SMSF auditor was disclosed to ASIC by another Australian government body.

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