To undertake an audit of the financial reports prepared under the Corporations Act 2001 (the Act) of a:
- public company
- large charity (revenue of $1 million or more)
- company limited by guarantee (with revenue or group consolidated revenue of $1 million or more), or where a registration requirement arises from a member or by an ASIC direction)
- registered scheme
- disclosing entity
- large proprietary company or a small proprietary company (only if at least 5 per cent of shareholders have given a direction to prepare a financial report and to have it audited), or
- an incorporated association (thresholds vary for associations incorporated under state or territory legislation)
you must be registered as a company auditor (RCA) by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
The auditor may also be an Authorised Audit Company or an Audit Firm with at least one member who is an RCA and who is ordinarily resident of Australia.
Who can undertake audits of non-corporations law entities, such as incorporated or unincorporated entities, varies considerably and will depend on a number of factors. In addition, some companies limited by guarantee, incorporated associations and charities are permitted to have a review rather than an audit of their financial report.
An individual seeking to register as a company auditor must be registered with ASIC. If a partnership is appointed auditor of a company registered in Australia, all the partners who are registered company auditors are deemed to be appointed, under section 324AB of the Act. Audit firms (partnerships) do not need to be formally registered with ASIC, but at least one member of the firm must be a registered company auditor.
Authorised audit companies must be registered with ASIC. A company can carry out and prepare an audit and auditor’s report if the company is an authorised audit company.
The trust entity itself cannot register as an auditor. However, the trustee can register if it meets all the other registration requirements. If a partnership of discretionary trusts is appointed auditor of a company registered in Australia, all the trustees of the partners who are registered company auditors are deemed to be appointed, under section 324AB of the Act.
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