What Is SMSF Auditor Training

A self managed superfund is a superannuation trust that offers retirement benefits to members. The members have the responsibility of running and controlling the superfund and act as the trustees. This article attempts to answer the question what is SMSF auditor training?

Just like other superfund, the assets are held by the members or trustees. This ensures that they have the control, flexibility and security over their superannuation. The members are also in a position to choose where to invest, make investment decisions and develop investment strategy.
Subject to certain restrictions, the members of a self managed super fund can invest in any products, residential or commercial properties and other assets.

Auditing Of SMSFs

To get a clear view of how your self-managed super fund is developing and know how your investment is earning you profits or loss, you must have an annual audit of your accounts. The auditing must be done by an approved auditor.

SMSF auditing involves compliance and financial auditing of your super funds by an approved auditor. The financial audit ensures a complete examination of the financial statements of your fund. On the other hand, compliance audit is the complete assessment of how the SMSFs comply with the superannuation rules.

Appointing an SMSF Auditor

SMSFs are expected to lodge annual returns every year. Before lodging the returns, you must appoint an SMSF auditor at least 45 days earlier to audit your funds each year.
Qualifications of the Auditor
They must have an SMSF auditor number and registered with ASIC. You will need to provide the audit number on your annual return.
The auditor should not have a vested interest with the fund. For example, having a close business or personal relationship with the trustee members or holding any financial interest. Above all he must be trained.

With or without payments or contributions made in a financial year, the auditing must be done.

SMSF Auditor Training
What is SMSF auditor training?
A competency SMSF training model was developed by the professional accounting bodies for all auditing companies. The program included the training SMSF auditors so that they are able to meet a certain level of competency. In addition, it was formed to strengthen the quality of SMSF auditors with regulators and legislators.

As required by relevant professional standards, the appropriate education and knowledge is to be maintained and displayed for the work undertaken by members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, CPA Australia and the National Institute of Accountants.

Any accountant or auditing company preparing for the accounts is expected to follow all the training requirements outlined in the competency standards.

Training Requirements

According to the superannuation legislation, approved SMSF auditors are expected to undertake a continuing professional development for at least 120 hours every 3 years. This is inclusive of at least 30 hours of development that covers superannuation. Out of the 30 hours, at least 8 hours should cover training relating to the auditing of self managed superannuation funds.

ICAA, CPA and IPA are the top institutes that train auditors in Australia. They expect their SMSF auditing members to go through a structured training of 30 hours every 3 years. The training includes:

  • Superannuation training for 8 hours
  • 4 hours training on financial accounting
  • Financial statement and compliance audit training for 8 hours

Note that you are only required to take at least 8 hours of training in SMSF. The other trainings focus on auditing and accounting skills.

However, it is not a must for the trainings to be obtained from the above bodies. The members are encouraged to get training from any institution they feel can offer them the required SMSF auditing ideas.

Monitoring Of the Training

Compliance with the competency standards is monitored by the quality review programs set by the respective professional body. In case of breach of any of the requirements, the penalty will be applied according to the implementation of the disciplinary process.

Any superannuation training undertaken in SMSF, financial accounting, compliance audit may be considered relevant. However, auditors are expected to consider updating their knowledge and skills in line with the changes done in auditing and accounting standards and the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993.

Certification
The certification answers the question what is SMSF auditor training?
Every practicing member including SMSFs auditors are expected to hold a practicing certificate. This helps in supervising the members through the quality review program and for security in case of professional compensation cover.

The above training should not be seen as an additional training. Rather, it helps in shedding light on the correct training required by all performing SMSF auditors.

The training is aimed at improving the performance of members in respect to the findings made by the quality review program about the poor performance of auditors.
The greatest aim is to improve the SMSF auditing standards. Improved standards will help in improving the reliance placed on the profession thus scaling back review programs thereby reducing costs for members.