SMSF Audit & Fee
SMSF Audit & Fee
Stricter requirement came into effect from 2010 on audit of SMSF. The auditor of SMSF is no longer able to provide services to the SMSF as a tax agent, accountant or financial advisor or administrator.
In the past, many auditors conducted the audit and signed off super funds accounts and tax returns they prepared and got away with it. From end of 2012, the government established a compulsory registration body for approved SMSF auditors. Now, the approved SMSF auditors must be registered with ASIC to sign off audit report of the SMSF.
As a member of CPA Australia we need to follow the code of professional conduct guide to ensuring auditor independence.
self review – where the person who prepared the SMSF’s accounts also conducted the SMSF’s audit
self interest – this could occur, for example, if the auditor benefits financially from an investment the SMSF has made (for example, shares in the same company)
intimidation – this could occur, for example, if a trustee threatens to stop using the auditor’s services for related work (for example, the auditor may be engaged to provide other services such as financial advice or preparing the accounts of other entities belonging to the trustee)
ATO is now imposed stricter requirement for every audit is that the auditor must be independent and also appear to be independent. As a result in-house audit of the SMSF cannot be justified to prove independence even if the audit is conducted by other partner within a firm.
We have been engaged in a totally independent external auditor to audit our SMSF accounts since beginning of 2010.
Engaging in external auditor has created couple of negative effects on our existing SMSF clients. The SMSF audit fee has increased slightly to incorporate our external auditor’s fee (Our external auditor charges $385.00 (as at Jan 2019) including GST for most standard SMSF audit. Auditor may charge higher fee for more complicated and larger funds). Secondly there is a delay in processing completion of annual accounts due to time required for the external auditor to review the accounts. Our current external SMSF auditor’s turnaround is 7 days.
We made sure that we comply with ATO regarding independence issue. You should have a peace of mind knowing that the SMSF we manage will always comply with the ATO requirements and made sure that our competitive fee structure remains same for our SMSF clients.