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ASIC acts against SMSF auditor misconduct

ASIC acts against SMSF auditor misconduct

ASIC has acted to disqualify, suspend or add conditions to the registration of a number of auditors of self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs).

  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • March 12, 2019
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The actions arose following ASIC concerns about audit quality, independence issues, failures to meet the fit and proper person criteria or other matters.

"Self-managed superannuation fund auditors play a fundamental role in promoting confidence in the SMSF sector, so it is crucial that they adhere to ethical, auditing and professional requirements. ASIC will continue to take action where the conduct of auditors falls short," ASIC commissioner John Price said.

SMSF trustees and members can check whether their auditor is registered, or whether a person has been disqualified, by searching ASIC's SMSF auditor register: connectonline.asic.gov.au.

Actions against SMSF auditors

ASIC has disqualified as SMSF auditors Strat Karnas of Victoria and Keith Knight of the ACT for, among other things, falsely representing in annual returns that their funds had been audited when they had not.

ASCI has also cancelled the registration of Trevor Ward of NSW for failing to comply with continuing professional development (CPD) requirements, along with other issues.

Moreover, Ranjit Dadwal of Victoria has been suspended as an SMSF auditor for two years from 30 October 2018 for not being a fit and proper person in that he had received criminal convictions for three offences.

ASIC also suspended for two years Joseph Carbone of South Australia and imposed conditions on Antonia Christine Quinn of Western Australia and Chooi Beh of Victoria.

Mr Carbone was found guilty of failing to report that an SMSF audited by him had not recorded a property at market value and of failing to maintain appropriate records of compliance with CPD requirements.

Ms Quinn failed to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence in the audit of an SMSF on whether a lease was on an arm’s length basis, and for failing to comply with CPD requirements. Similarly, Chooi Beh of Victoria failed to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence in the audit of an SMSF about the value of unlisted shares and whether monies advanced to the fund were borrowings.

Information about the abovenamed auditors (other than Mr Dadwal) was referred to ASIC by the Australian Taxation Office under section 128P of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993.

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