In a series of articles, we outline some of the things you should know – or might like to know – regarding superannuation fund audits.
In our first article, we looked at why your fund needs an audit. In this article, we look at who can be an auditor.
Who can audit your fund?
Even though the ATO administers the rules, another government agency, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) is responsible for the registration and management of approved SMSF auditors.
Once a SMSF auditor is registered with ASIC, they will have an SMSF auditor number (SAN). This means the auditor is approved to conduct SMSF audits. You can only appoint an approved SMSF auditor.
In order to be registered with ASIC, SMSF auditors must meet the minimum education, experience, and competency requirements, and carry adequate professional indemnity insurance. All very important things to ensure the integrity of the SMSF system.
According to ASIC, to be registered as an approved SMSF auditor, a person must meet all the requirements of registration. These requirements include:
- Being an Australian resident
- Passing a competency examination
- Having the required levels of practical experience, and
- Holding certain education qualifications
ASIC has the power to set competency standards and to cancel, suspend, or disqualify auditors where appropriate. Or to put it another way – whoever does audit your SMSF needs to be properly registered and in good standing with ASIC in order for you to meet your compliance requirements. And this is an on-going requirement.
Being aware and knowledgeable in both tax rules, superannuation rules and of course audit requirements is an on-going focus of the Melbourne SMSF Audit team at GNS Group. We invest in on-going technology and educational training of our SMSF Auditors, making sure they can offer the correct SMSF Audit advice to our audit clients.
For your part, you don’t need to check to make sure that your auditor has these skills – ASIC will do so before accrediting them. You just need to make sure they’re accredited. Remember, you can only appoint an approved SMSF auditor.
GNS Group has two registered and experienced SMSF Auditors – Philip Ruth and Bruce Allen.
When it comes to actually choosing your SMSF auditor, you want someone who displays the following qualities:
Independence – They shouldn’t hold any financial interest in the fund they are auditing or have close personal or business relationships with the members or trustees
Security – They should have the ability to keep your fund’s records secure. All of our SMSF audits are done in Melbourne Australia – GNS do not send audits overseas to save a few dollars
Speed – They should use every means at their disposal to ensure each SMSF audit is completed on time
Affordability – They should only bill time that they actually spent on auditing.
You can check if your auditor is approved by checking the ASIC register using ASIC’s online service – ASIC Connect.
If you have any SMSF audit queries or would like to talk to an approved Melbourne SMSF auditor, please call Philip Ruth in our Ivanhoe office on 03 9499 7444.
Next time: What do you need to do for your SMSF audit?