Self-Managed Superannuation Fund is a fund created in the manner of trust that provides members with benefits upon retirement. The significant difference between this fund and all others is that its members are also the trustees, thus having control on investments, insurance, and other things. One of the obligations of managing this fund is providing annual audit reports. For this purpose, a registered SMSF auditor is needed.
The auditor examines the financial records and determines the accuracy and validity of the records while ensuring that it complies with the superannuation rules.
Becoming an SMSF auditor
There are specific requirements that you must meet to be an SMSF auditor. They include:
- The person must reside in Australia
- Must pass the competency examinations
- Must have a certain level of practical experience
- Must have certain educational qualifications.
The registration regulations are contained in the ASIC Regulatory Guide 243 and include the information you have to provide, the requirements, and how to apply.
The information you have to provide include bankruptcy checks and criminal history for the past ten years in all the countries you have lived during that period. It is advisable to apply for all this information early, so you have them in hand before you start your application.
The application itself can be submitted through the ASIC regulatory portal online, and all the information and proofs should be attached to the application. You will also have to pay a fee for the application. ASIC will review your application, and if satisfied with the information and you meet the eligibility requirements, you become a registered SMSF auditor.
As an SMSF auditor, you are obliged to:
- Lodge annual statement
- Ensure your details are up-to-date
- Complete any recommended professional development.
- Hold the recommended professional indemnity insurance.
You must comply with
- the conditions for your registrations
- All relevant auditing and assurance standards as issued by the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AUASB)
- The competency standards for SMSF auditors
- The independence requirements for auditors as contained in the APES 110 Code of ethics.
The Australian Taxation office performs oversight functions to ensure that SMSF auditors comply with the rules and any non-compliance is reported to ASIC who will determine the culpability of the SMSF auditors. Where found noncompliant, sanction includes:
- Varying or imposing conditions on the auditor’s registration.
- Cancel the registration
- Make the auditor sign an enforceable undertaking
- Suspend or disqualify the auditor.
The most important obligation of an SMSF auditor is to lodge an annual statement. It is this statement that confirms that the auditor is still registered and verifies that the auditor continues to meet all the obligations and conditions. The statement must be lodged within 30 days after the anniversary of the date they registered, and it must be done online using the ASIC regulatory portal. You can also authorise another person to assist you with the lodging on the portal and if necessary, attach all the supporting documents. Where you are unable to lodge by the due date, you can apply for an extension which would be accepted if it is done before the due date and for reasons outside your control.