All SMSFs must have their financial accounts and compliance with the SIS Act audited annually by an approved auditor17. Approved auditors play a key role in ensuring SMSF compliance with regulatory obligations.
In the year ended 30 June 2012, 9% of SMSFs reported their approved auditor also provided other services such as tax agent, accountant, financial adviser or administrator.18 There has been a steady decline in the number of SMSFs which report approved auditors as providing other services over the five years to 2012.
For the year ended 30 June 2011, almost 9,600 approved auditors conducted on average 40 SMSF audits.19 Of these, 36% performed less than five SMSF audits in 2011. There continues to be clear indicators of a shift towards approved auditors performing audits for a larger number of SMSFs (see appendix 1, table 8).
Tax agents and accountants also play a significant role in the SMSF sector. Approximately 13,000 tax agents or accountants lodged 99% of 2012 SMSF annual returns.20 They had on average 29 SMSF clients and a median number of 10 SMSF clients.
The majority lodged for 10 or less SMSFs (52%) while 17% (or 2,175) had a single SMSF client. In contrast, 6% or 785 tax agents and accountants lodged a 2012 SAR for more than 100 SMSFs (see appendix 1, table 9).