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17-296MR ASIC disqualifies SMSF auditor for breaching 'independence' obligation
ASIC has disqualified Kathleen Whittle of New South Wales from being an approved self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) auditor. ASIC determined that Ms Whittle had breached fundamental independence requirements and that, given the nature of these breaches, a disqualification was appropriate.
ASIC found that Ms Whittle had breached the auditor independence requirements of APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants in auditing the funds of her immediate and close family members.
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.'
SMSF trustees and members can check whether their auditor is registered, or whether a person has been disqualified, by searching ASIC's SMSF auditor register at connectonline.asic.gov.au
Information about Ms Whittle was referred to ASIC by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) under section 128P of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (the SIS Act).
From 1 July 2013, the SIS Act required all auditors of SMSFs to be registered with ASIC. This was to ensure that all SMSF auditors meet the base standards of competency and expertise.
ASIC and the ATO work closely together as co-regulators of SMSF auditors. The ATO monitors SMSF auditor conduct and may refer matters to ASIC for possible action such as disqualification or suspension of their registration.