Annual SMSF Audit - Why Quality Counts
Financial security and independence are two of the most popular reasons that Australians are turning towards SMSFs in their droves. There is no doubt that managing your super fund is as appealing as it sounds for those dedicated to spending their retirement in affluence.
While freedom is key, there is one area that an SMSF owner must relinquish control and that is the dreaded annual audit. We use the word dreaded because it's no secret that stereotypes of dull auditors with their lengthy, drawn out stories and inside (cue not funny) jokes are rife within the industry.
As a result of this ‘chore' that is the annual audit, there is an increasing and extremely worrying trend that SMSF owners are taking to hiring shoddy auditors to have their annual requirements fulfilled as cheaply and quickly as possible.
In September of last year, the ATO announced that auditors who are providing an annual service at a fee considered lower than industry standard would be subject to a higher level of scrutiny to ensure that their low-cost didn't amount to a low-quality audit.
Within two months of this announcement two registered auditors were promptly disqualified.
This significant action is one not to be taken lightly by SMSF owners. The audit is a necessary part of owning an SMSF and paying for low-quality auditors will have dire implications for your fund in the future, at a time when you are banking on everything having been managed correctly during its maturing process.
By utilising the skills of a quality auditor, not only will you have the assurance that your SMSF is in safe hands, but you will also be removing the supply and demand culture that leaves these below par auditors in employment.
When used to its absolute advantage, the audit function should be regarded as a total value add to an SMSF and a real case of prevention being better than the cure.