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15-362MR ASIC disqualifies Abe Samuel as SMSF auditor
ASIC has disqualified Abe Samuel of New South Wales from being an approved Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) auditor. ASIC determined that Mr Samuel had breached independence requirements and that he was not a fit and proper person to be an approved SMSF auditor.
ASIC found that Mr Samuel had breached auditor independence requirements of APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants where he was:
- a member of a fund he audited and also the director of its corporate trustee; and
- the power of attorney holder for, and a relative of, a member of a fund he audited.
ASIC Commissioner John Price said ‘It is critical that approved SMSF auditors perform their role adequately and meet professional standards to promote confidence in the SMSF sector. Compliance with the independence requirements is fundamental in fostering this confidence. ASIC will continue to follow up matters referred by the ATO concerning the quality of SMSF auditors.’
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 Mr Samuel 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 at least 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.