Date posted: 25/08/2023

Competency requirements for SMSF auditors

Joint Accounting Bodies withdraw SMSF auditor competency requirements

In brief

  • The Joint Accounting Bodies SMSF auditor competency requirements preceded the now repealed ASIC class order
  • SMSF auditor competency requirements are now embedded into law
  • This is to ensure the SMSF auditor competency framework is clear and unambiguous

Originally issued in February 2008, Competency Requirements for Auditors of Self-Managed Superannuation Funds sets out the minimum competency requirements for members of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), CPA Australia and the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) (“the Joint Accounting Bodies”) who sign audit reports for SMSFs. It formed the basis of ASIC Class Order CO 12/1687 Competency Standards for Approved Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) Auditors in December 2012. ASIC has now repealed the Class Order because, over time, it has gradually been superseded by the following. 

  • Requirements in the:
    • Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 and the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994
    • Auditing and assurance standards issued by the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AUASB)
    • Professional, ethical and independence requirements in APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including Independence Standards) issued by the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB).
  • The ASIC registration process for becoming an Approved SMSF Auditor, including the SMSF auditor competency exam.
  • The ASIC and Australian Taxation Office (ATO) regulatory oversight functions.

Importantly, the knowledge required by candidates to succeed in the SMSF auditor competency exam is set out in the learning objectives on the ASIC website.

The Joint Accounting Bodies have now withdrawn Competency Requirements for Auditors of Self-Managed Superannuation Funds. This is to simplify the SMSF auditor competency framework and eliminate duplication that has emerged, it does not change the competency requirements of SMSF auditors.


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