What Are SMSF Auditor Reports

auditor reports

The SMSF Auditor report is a report that is filed with the Australian Taxation Office in relation to self-managed superannuation funds. There are different forms depending on whether you are an approved independent auditor or not. The cored SMSF auditor report for an independent auditor is, as you would imagine, the Self-managed superannuation fund independent auditors report.

This is the report that the Australian government recommends to people who are approved SMSF auditors that have been appointed to give reports on the operation of an SMSF by the funds trustee for that income year.

What Are SMSF Auditor Reports About?

To be an approved SMSF auditor, the auditor is required to be registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Each year, the ASIC will issue approved SMSF auditors with a number called the SAN (SMSF Auditor Number), and when the auditor fills out the SMSF auditor report they must include that number.

Where to Get the Report

There is an electronic copy of the form available in RTF format on the Australian Taxation Office website. The copy includes both the form and detailed instructions for filling it out. Because it is made available in rich text format, it can be opened by any modern word processing application, and should be usable for Windows,

 Linux and Mac OS users.

The copy of the form that is available on the website at this time (May 2015) is suitable for reporting periods that started on or after the 1st of July 2013. It is acceptable to use this report form for audits which were performed for periods before that date, however if you choose to do this then you should be aware that there have been recent changes to the auditing legislation, and that your reports must comply with the rules and standards that were relevant to that period. New versions of the reporting form will be uploaded to the Australian Taxation Office whenever there are changes to the legislation. If you want more information about “what are SMSF auditor reports?” and other questions, the ATO website is a good starting point.

Requirements for Auditors

Auditors who conduct SMSF Independent Audits are required to do so in accordance with the independence requirements that are laid out in the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants that was published by the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board. These rules are part of the APES 110 pronouncement.

In particular, auditors should pay attention to anything which may be considered to be a threat to their independence. This is even more important than considering “What are SMSF auditor reports supposed to cover”. The ATO wants to know that the auditor is giving an unbiased view. There are some threats that can be managed, but there are others that will only be considered to have been eliminated or reduced to a level that is acceptable to the board if the auditor either declines to do the audit or removes themselves from that particular audit engagement. Examples of this situation include engagements to funds where:

The auditor is a trustee of that fund, or a director of one of the funds corporate trustees.

The auditor is themselves a member of the fund.

The auditor is closely related to, or otherwise an associate of one of the funds trustees, a member of the fund, or a director of a corporation that is a trustee of the fund.

The auditor personally prepared statements or accounts for the fund that is to be audited.

Note that the audit report includes a clear, specific commitment that the auditor has successfully complied with the funds auditor independence requirements, as laid out by the Superannuation Industry Regulations that were published in 1994.

Auditors have several responsibilities, including a requirement that they report any concerns they have about the fund. For example, the auditor must file an actuary contravention report if, when they audit an SMSF they come to the conclusion that the financial position of the fund is unsatisfactory or is in danger of becoming that way. They are also required to file a report if they feel that the fund is in contravention of other audit criteria.

When an auditor completes their report, they must give a copy to the SMSF trustees, and keep a copy of it for themselves. There is no need for the SMSF auditor to send a copy of the report to the Australian Taxation Office themselves. The trustees are the ones that are responsible for managing their own paperwork.