How to choose an SMSF auditor
Asking the right questions
Choosing an SMSF auditor for your business can be a valuable business decision, so we’ve put together a list of questions to consider.
1. How will you add value to my practice?
Perhaps the best question you can ask. Does the auditor have a clear understanding of how to create value for your business? Does the auditor have the experience and technical knowledge to ensure the audit process is relevant and of value to you and your clients?
2. Who will be performing my audits?
Are your audits being performed by qualified SMSF audit professionals you can easily speak to? The ability to communicate directly with your auditor is vital in building a long-term trusting relationship.
3. Are SMSF audits all you do?
It’s only natural that someone who specialises solely in SMSF audits will have a more in-depth technical knowledge and greater experience in dealing with the complex issues that can arise. A true SMSF audit specialist will have experience auditing a wide range of SMSF strategies, so you don’t have to waste your time educating the auditor.
4. How long have you been auditing SMSFs, and do you have any professional references?
The best predictor of future performance is past performance. Experience, reputation and references are important to consider.
5. Will you help us rectify breaches?
If a breach does occur, you want to know your auditor will do everything in their power to help you rectify it, no matter who is at fault.
6. Have you had a recent quality control review? And do you have appropriate professional indemnity insurance?
Regular quality control reviews give you peace of mind that the auditor takes audit quality seriously. When did the auditor last submit to a quality control review, and have they maintained their professional indemnity insurance?
7. Are you an ASIC Registered SMSF Auditor?
It might sound obvious, but it’s often assumed and not checked. Only an ASIC Registered SMSF Auditor has the training and accreditation you can rely on.
8. How much do you cost and what is your fee structure?
Finally (though it’s often asked first), you need to know the cost. The real cost with no hidden surprises! You should consider what kind of fee structure is best for your business and your clients. For example, a fixed fee structure gives you and your clients certainty.
All auditors will have their strengths and weaknesses. By asking a range of questions, you’ll gain a holistic view of what each auditor can bring to your business.