SMSF Auditors

Joint Accounting Bodies release service organisation guidance for SMSF auditors

FAQs: Audit considerations relating to an SMSF using an investment management service organisation

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), CPA Australia and the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) (“the Joint Accounting Bodies”) have jointly issued guidance for self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) auditors on SMSFs using investment management service organisations. In the form of frequently asked questions (FAQs), the guidance aims to provide some simple, concise signposting by bringing together relevant paragraphs of the applicable auditing and assurance standards, and guidance statements.

It is in response to questions that members have asked the Joint Accounting Bodies in relation to auditing SMSF financial reports where the SMSF outsources the management of its investments to a service organisation. The guide emphasises that it is possible to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence, but there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and the outcome is not binary. As with all audits, the nature, timing and extent of audit procedures are based on risk and the auditor’s professional judgement. 

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SMSF Auditors – Withdrawal of Competency Standards

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), CPA Australia and the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) (“the Joint Accounting Bodies”) have withdrawn Competency Requirements for Auditors of Self-Managed Superannuation Funds. This is to simplify the SMSF auditor competency framework and eliminate duplication that has emerged, it does not change the competency requirements of SMSF auditors.

Originally issued in February 2008, it set out the minimum competency requirements for members of the three accounting bodies who sign audit reports for SMSFs. It formed the basis of ASIC Class Order CO 12/1687 Competency Standards for Approved Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) Auditors in December 2012. ASIC has now repealed the Class Order because, overtime, it has gradually been superseded by:

  • Requirements in the:
    • Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 and the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994
    • Auditing and assurance standards issued by the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AUASB)
    • Professional, ethical and independence requirements in APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including Independence Standards) issued by the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB).
  • The ASIC registration process for becoming an Approved SMSF Auditor, including the SMSF auditor competency exam.
  • The ASIC and Australian Taxation Office (ATO) regulatory oversight functions.

Importantly, the knowledge required by candidates to succeed in the SMSF auditor competency exam is set out in the learning objectives on the ASIC website.

ATO - Approved SMSF auditor checklist

SMSF Auditors Online Services for Businesses

SMSF Auditor Independence

SMSF Professional Associations Stakeholders Group

The IPA is represented at this stakeholders group, which meets on a quarterly basis. More information

Key messages from meetings held are available below.

SMSF Auditor – Member Representation Group

At the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) we are keen to hear the views of our members who are registered SMSF Auditors with ASIC.

If you are interested in joining this group which meets online on an ad-hoc basis to gauge member views which are then communicated back to regulators such as the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), please contact:

Irwin Bushnell, Technical Advisor
E: [email protected]
P: 03 8665 3122

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