Update on SMSF auditor registration and accountants' exemption

Members who work in the SMSF sector will be aware of several government proposals that may impact on their work.

The government is yet to make an announcement on the requirements for SMSF auditor registration and the replacement to the accountants’ exemption.

We confirm that

  • the accountants' exemption is due to be removed from 1 July 2012 – we are awaiting details on the replacement for the exemption.
  • SMSF auditors will need to be registered with ASIC – we are waiting on confirmation of the requirements for registration of new auditors and transitional arrangements for existing auditors as well as time frames for application.

Once finalised, these changes are likely to have a significant impact on the way in which Chartered Accountants operate. Members are advised to refrain from making any business decisions that relate to either of these areas until a final decision has been reached.

The Institute will advise members when a resolution regarding both of these areas has been determined, however we do not anticipate any government announcements on these issues until the new year.

SMSF auditor independence

The principles based approach to SMSF audit independence used in the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board's (APESB) APES 110 – Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants is to apply to all SMSF auditors – mandatory outsourcing of audits will not be introduced.

The government has endorsed a principles based approach to apply to all SMSF auditors. Professional accountants already abide by APES 110. It had been suggested that prescriptive standards, including mandatory outsourcing of all audit activity, be implemented but this has been rejected.

Article last updated 23 December 2011