The ATO explain their approach to SMSF auditor oversight

The ATO have been making record referrals of SMSF auditors to ASIC, which they expect will continue to rise. In this podcast Kellie Grant, Director of the SMSF Approved Auditors Portfolio at the ATO, explains to Claire Grayston, CPA Australia’s policy adviser on audit and assurance, what the ATO are looking for in their reviews of SMSF auditors and shares the two new programs they are pursuing in 2018/2019. Kellie sets out how the ATO are selecting auditors for review, what their expectations are of a compliant audit file, as well as the actions they take where breaches of the independence requirements or auditing standards are found. Kellie highlights what can be learnt from the latest case law and how the ATO can help SMSF auditors, including in identifying SMSF auditor number (SAN) misuse.


  • ATO referrals of SMSF auditors to ASIC 0:56
  • Reason for ATO’s record referrals to ASIC 3:20 
  • ATO SMSF auditor compliance focus areas & new SMSF auditor compliance programs 3:39
  • How the ATO select auditors for review 5:56
  • ATO response to Auditor Contravention Reports lodged 8:39
  • Auditor independence breaches including reciprocal audit arrangements 11:20
  • How the ATO conduct reviews of SMSF auditors and what to expect from a review 14:17
  • The ATO’s expectation of SMSF auditors 17:14
  • What action the ATO take if they find non-compliance 19:40
  • Examples of where SMSF has failed to discharge their duties 22:32
  • SMSF auditor number (SAN) misuse 25:30
  • Latest case law 30:30 
  • ATO assistance for SMSF auditors 34:32


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