Competency standards are proving to be a sticking point in the early stages of processing SMSF auditor registrations, with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) also anticipating a drop in the number of practitioners conducting audits.
Speaking at the SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia conference in Melbourne, ASIC commissioner Greg Tanzer stressed that the competence and independence of auditors should be improved because the size of the industry demands it.
The regulator has already received over 1,300 applications for SMSF auditor registration, which was more than ASIC had anticipated receiving at this point, with a handful already approved.
However, Tanzer said ASIC was expecting around 6,000 applications in total – a significant drop from the 11,500 reported by the Australian Taxation Office when it conducted an SMSF audit in 2007.
One of the main reasons for declining SMSF auditor registration applications up to this point has been a failure to outline the applicant’s academic history in the supporting documentation, Tanzer said.
“Competency requirements are a very important part of the process,” he said. “It’s intended to raise standards and we expect some people won’t meet the new standards.”
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