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18-327MR ASIC disqualifies two separate Queensland SMSF auditors
ASIC has disqualified two separate self-managed superannuation funds (SMSF) auditors, John Gilliland and Douglas Coghlan, of Queensland, for breaching independence requirements.
ASIC found both Mr Gilliland and Mr Coghlan had separately breached auditor independence requirements in auditing their own funds, the fund of an immediate family member and the fund of a close family member.
'Self-managed superannuation fund auditors play a fundamental role in promoting confidence in the sector. ASIC will continue to take action to ensure auditors adhere to ethical standards,' ASIC Commissioner John Price said.
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.
Information about Mr Gilliland, and separately about Mr Couglan, was referred to ASIC by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) under section 128P of 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.
Mr Gilliland sought a review of ASIC’s decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). The AAT set aside ASIC’s decision. ASIC is appealing the AAT decision to the Federal Court (refer: 20-208MR).