The importance of providing all documents to the SMSF Auditor
Firstly, my apologies. This blog has taken me longer to write than previously announced. I have been busy refining my compliance program to provide a better service to my clients.
When it comes to outsourced SMSFs accounting and audit activity, you must ensure that the Accountant and Auditor are at one with the workpapers and documents to be provided. I am not talking about a yoga class, but rather ensuring that they are the same wavelength and thinking pattern when it comes to finalising the audit in an efficient manner.
Whilst it may be a laborious task to most, the efficiency gains from providing the correct documents and especially the permanent documents in place in the first instance (especially in a first-year audit) are immense.
Benefits of providing documents in a timely manner
The benefits of providing all required documents to the auditor in the first instance and in a timely manner:
(1) gives the auditor an easier time;
(2) reduces multiple push-backs and queries from the auditor;
(3) makes for an efficient and quick turnaround of your audit;
(4) reduces auditors’ need to ask for more information in the case of an ATO field audit; and
(5) The auditor can actually focus on providing advice to you on potential compliance breaches and identifying risk areas and compliance shortfalls that need to be addressed
As an SMSF auditor dealing with some incredibly efficient outsource providers, and also some inefficient providers, I have determined that there is a fine line between remaining compliant and blatant disregard for the compliance program. Fortunately for me, the majority of my clients are willing to comply.
The ATO and the SMSF Auditor
As SMSF Auditors we are on a continuous journey to the improvement of our service delivery, and the more compliant we are, the more solid our audits become, and the easier an ATO audit becomes for everyone. I have been in contact with a few ATO Compliance Officers, and my personal experience is quite positive. The ATOs view is that they want to help Accountants and Auditors in doing the right thing by the Fund and its Trustees. The view of the ATO has had a significant 360-degree turnaround from the days of old which is to be commended. For more information on the ATO’s compliance program, view the website link
Whilst having a checklist is all well and good, the auditor needs to communicate clearly and effectively to the accountant/ outsourced provider to ensure the compliance process is conducted unhindered.
If you feel like you need a change of SMSF Auditor, or you feel like your auditor is not asking the right questions, contact our office for an obligation free assessment of your needs.