Self-managed superannuation fund auditors

  1. Conducting SMSF audits
  2. SMSF auditor independence
  3. SMSF audit quality
  4. Regulatory framework
  5. Registration of approved SMSF auditors
  6. Competency requirements for SMSF auditors
  7. Obligations of approved SMSF auditors
  8. Related resources

1. Conducting SMSF audits

Guidance for conducting SMSF audits.

2. SMSF auditor independence

Fact sheets and guides

Non-assurance services - What are the issues?

Non-assurance services frequently asked questions

Independence guide
PDF · 1.4 MB

Chapter 8: Self-managed superannuation funds

3. Audit quality resources

Audit quality articles and resources 

4. Regulatory framework

An approved auditor must audit SMSFs annually under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SISA).

An approved SMSF auditor must be registered with ASIC under section 128B of the SISA. ASIC has responsibility for registering approved SMSF auditors and setting competency standards.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is responsible for monitoring the conduct of SMSF auditors. The ATO may refer an auditor to ASIC for non-compliance, which may impose any necessary administrative outcomes. Legal requirements about the structure of an SMSF are contained in the relevant SISA and Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 (SISR). These are summarised in GS 009 Auditing Self-Managed Superannuation Funds, paragraphs 11 and 12.

5. Registration of approved SMSF auditors

In order to be eligible to audit a SMSF, you must be registered as an approved SMSF auditor with ASIC

ASIC Regulatory Guide 243 Registration of self-managed superannuation fund auditors (RG 243) sets out the requirements for registration, how to apply for registration and the ongoing obligations for approved SMSF auditors.

Applications are submitted online using ASIC Connect and the registration requirements include:

In addition, ASIC must be satisfied that you are unlikely to contravene your obligations, are capable of performing your duties, are a fit and proper person and are not subject to a disqualification or suspension order.

ASIC maintains a register of approved SMSF auditors and a register of banned and disqualified SMSF auditors, under the SIS Act.

6. Competency requirements for SMSF auditors

Approved SMSF auditors must comply with the ASIC competency standards, which are contained in ASIC Class Order CO 12/1687 Competency standards for approved SMSF auditors. These competency standards are closely aligned with the Competency Requirements for Auditors of SMSFs issued by the joint accounting bodies, with the exception of the competency for documentation which is unique to ASIC’s competency standards. 

The competency requirements for SMSF auditors are mandatory for members of these professional accounting bodies wishing to do this work.

Public practitioners who are auditing SMSFs must meet the following professional standards requirements: 

  • hold a practising certificate issued by the professional accounting body of which they are a member
  • have continuing professional indemnity cover 
  • undertake continuing professional development, comprising at least 30 hours in each rolling three-year period, including 8 hours of superannuation training, 8 hours of financial or compliance audit training and 4 hours of financial accounting training, with the balance made up from any of these categories as necessary 
  • ensure that those who undertake work on their behalf have appropriate knowledge and experience, and are properly supervised in the conduct of the audit.

Competency exam

The SMSF auditor competency exam was developed by ASIC in consultation with industry. ASIC’s website provides details for booking your exam and what the exam covers, see SMSF auditors - competency exam.  

The syllabus for the exam addresses the following learning objectives.

Resources useful in preparing for the exam:

7. Obligations of approved SMSF auditors

The ongoing obligations of approved SMSF auditors include:

  • complying with any registration conditions imposed 
  • undertaking continuing professional development
  • complying with the ASIC Competency Standards and AUASB Standards, including Australian Auditing Standards and ASAE 3100 Compliance Engagements
  • meeting the independence requirements in APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
  • holding professional indemnity insurance
  • lodging an annual statement with ASIC
  • notifying ASIC of specific matters and activities.