More Detail Needed On Audit Changes, SMSF Association Says

The government should begin consultation on the proposed changes to self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) audits that were announced in the 2018-19 Budget, the SMSF Association has said.

According to feedback it had received, the association said its auditor members were concerned about the details of the proposed changes and the effects on their audit businesses.

Following a meeting late last week with Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer, SMSF Association chair Deborah Ralston said the organisation is working through the potential implementation issues of the proposal and would value early consultation so it can better understand the details.

“The policy was only announced as one of the Budget measures on Tuesday night, so we do not yet have the necessary detail to fully understand the implications of the proposed change,” she said.

SMSF Association CEO John Maroney said that based on discussions with Treasury, the proposal would require SMSF auditors to conduct an audit of activity occurring over a full three-year period for funds with a history of good record-keeping and compliance, which he said is a “significant change” from the current annual audit process.

“SMSF auditors need to understand the detail of how less frequent audits are expected to be conducted in a manner that increases efficiency, so they can understand the effects on their clients, on their professional obligations and on their businesses,” he said.

The association said it will be closely consulting with its members to formulate submissions to government on this issue and that Treasury officials have agreed to participate in roundtable discussions in Melbourne and Sydney with SMSF auditors that are being arranged by the association later in May.

By Nicholas Grove

Money Management

14 May 2018

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