ASIC’s registration of self-managed super fund (SMSF) auditors starts today. Auditors doing SMSF audits can apply for registration online.
The new register is part of the Australian Government’s ‘Stronger Super’ reforms. The reforms will make the Australian superannuation system stronger and more efficient. ASIC has worked closely with Government and industry on measures - including the register - to improve integrity and community confidence in the sector.
Auditors can apply to register as an SMSF auditor through our online portal, ASIC Connect, via www.asic.gov.au. Registration requires an ASIC Connect account.
Registration will be mandatory for anyone conducting an SMSF audit from 1 July 2013 and sanctions may apply if an auditor accepts an SMSF audit engagement without being registered after this date.
ASIC Senior Executive Ged Fitzpatrick commented: ‘This is a key step in the Stronger Super Reform process. The register and associated competency standards will improve the quality of SMSF audits.’
‘The ability to identify registered SMSF auditors is critical in underpinning confidence for SMSF trustees.’
In order to be registered, SMSF auditors must meet minimum education, experience and competency requirements. SMSF auditors must also maintain professional indemnity insurance.
Existing approved SMSF auditors can apply for registration under transitional arrangements between 31 January and 30 June 2013, which may exempt them from some registration requirements. Under these arrangements, registered company auditors are not required to undertake a competency exam nor are they required complete to 300 hours of work auditing SMSFs.
ASIC advises prospective registrants to apply early, as applicants will not be able to practise as SMSF auditors from 1 July 2013 until they are registered. Applicants should lodge by 30 April 2013 to provide ASIC with adequate time to process their application.
Regulatory Guide 243 Registration of self-managed superannuation fund auditors (RG 243) and Class Order [CO 12/1687] Competency standards for approved SMSF auditors provide further information on the requirements SMSF auditors must meet and the transitional arrangements for the registration of existing approved auditors of SMSFs.
The registration scheme for SMSF auditors commenced on 31 January 2013. Under the new regime, ASIC has responsibility for registering ‘approved SMSF auditors’, setting competency standards and, where appropriate, cancelling, suspending or disqualifying auditors.
Approved SMSF auditors will have ongoing obligations under section 128F of the Superannuation Industry (Supervisory) Act 1993 to comply with the competency standards set by ASIC. Auditors are also required by the legislation to comply with the auditing standards issued by the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board.