SMSF trustees are required to appoint a registered auditor to report on the operations of the fund each tax year. The report is included with the Fund’s annual tax and information return.
Proposal for 3-yearly audit cycle
A 2018 budget measure foreshadowed a change of the annual audit requirement to 3-yearly from 1 July 2019 for SMSFs deemed to have a good compliance record.
The government released a discussion paper reviewing the measures.
At the time of writing, legislation has not been introduced to parliament and is therefore unlikely to be available before the coming (2019) general election.
Audit time limits
An approved auditor must be appointed at least 45 days before the due date for annual return lodgement.
The auditor must provide the audit report to the SMSF trustees within 28 days “after the trustee of the fund has provided all documents relevant to the preparation of the report to the auditor.”
SMSF Auditor registration
From 1 July 2013 auditors may not undertake SMSF audits unless registered with ASIC as an “approved SMSF auditor”. To obtain registration, auditors must meet minimum education, experience and competency requirements and ongoing statutory obligations.
SMSF auditors are required to quote their ASIC-issued SMSF auditor number (SAN) in the annual return of the fund.
Registers of approved and disqualified auditors are maintained by ASIC and can be accessed online.
Reciprocal Audit Arrangements
The Tax Office frowns on “reciprocal” arrangements under which auditors agree to audit each other’s SMSF or those of their clients.
Problematic arrangements are those which create potential threats to independence described under the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standard (APES) 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.
They include threats arising from self interest, familiarity and potential intimidation.
See further: Reciprocal auditing arrangements
How to complete the SMSF audit report
A downloadable template with instructions of the Self-managed superannuation fund independent auditor’s report (NAT 11466) is available here together with associated information for registered super fund auditors.
Further information and key links
- Auditor compliance reviews
- The SMSF auditor and verifying market values in an SMSF
- ASIC – approved auditor registration and information
- ATO – SMSF Auditors
- SMSF annual return lodgement dates
- eSAT – Electronic superannuation audit tool
- Downloadable SMSF fund annual return forms dating from the 2008 to the current year:
- Auditor/actuary contravention report
This page was last modified 2019-03-06