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ASIC has disqualified an SMSF auditor after he was found to have breached fundamental independence and audit requirements.
Ross Russo of NSW was found to have breached auditor independence requirements of the APES 110 Code of Ethics for professional accountants by auditing the fund of a close family member.
ASIC also found Mr Russo to have breached audit evidence requirements of Australian auditing standards, and was referred to the regulator by the ATO under section 128P of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (the SIS Act).
ASIC Commissioner John Price said, “SMSF auditors play a fundamental role in promoting confidence in the SMSF sector so it is crucial that they adhere to ethical and professional standards.”
“ASIC will continue to take action where the conduct of SMSF auditors is inadequate.”
The ATO had previously issued guidance to the SMSF professional community, emphasising the importance of SMSF auditors in ensuring integrity and confidence in the SMSF sector.
“As co-regulators of SMSF auditors, both the ATO and ASIC consider the independence and competency of SMSF auditors, together with the quality of SMSF audits undertaken by registered SMSF auditors, paramount,” ATO assistant commissioner Kasey Macfarlane said.
“While ASIC is responsible for determining registration eligibility requirements, setting competency standards and taking enforcement action where appropriate, the ATO’s continuing role is to monitor SMSF auditor compliance.
“In instances where we detect non-compliant behaviours, we refer our concerns about those SMSF auditors to ASIC.”