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Audit documentation

SMSF auditors, must comply with Australian auditing standards and have sufficient evidence to support opinions.

Last updated 6 September 2020

As a self-managed super fund (SMSF) auditor, you must have sufficient documentation to support your findings and opinions. This includes:

  • preparing and documenting the audit plan in writing, which details the audit approach to be undertaken
  • relevant audit evidence supporting the conclusions reached
  • audit programs, checklists completed with relevant notation, issues memoranda, analysis undertaken, records of discussions and correspondence with the trustees and others who were relevant in forming the opinion
  • evaluation of evidence including testing undertaken, results of audit testing, and summaries of reasoning on all significant matters that require the exercise of professional judgment.

You should keep audit files separate from other files you may hold for the client. Audit papers should be retained for at least seven years from the date the auditor's report is signed.

Your audit file should include copies of the following documentation:

  • Letter of audit engagement – this confirms your acceptance of the appointment and clearly states the scope of the financial audit and the compliance audit within the super laws. It is required under the auditing standards and it should prevent any misunderstandings between the trustees and auditor about the nature and extent of the audit.
    Guidance Statement GS 009 Auditing Self-Managed Superannuation Funds, issued by the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AUASB), states that the engagement letter is between the auditor and the trustees of the SMSF, not the auditor and any party referring the arrangement such as an accountant or administrator. It should be signed by the SMSF trustees.
  • Representation letter – this must include all representations required by the AUASB's auditing standards and should be signed by all trustees stating that, to the best of their knowledge, they have approved and acknowledge responsibility for financial statements and the fund complies with the super laws.
  • Management letter – if there are matters of concern arising from the audit, you should provide the trustees with a management letter stating your findings.
  • Working papers – these should be able to be understood by another experienced auditor who has had no previous connection with the audit. They should record the planning, nature, timing and extent of the audit procedures performed, the results of the audit procedures performed, evidence obtained, and the conclusions drawn from this evidence.
    The working papers should include your reasoning on all significant matters arising during the audit that require the exercise of judgment, together with your conclusions and recommendations. Amongst other things, they should confirm that the audit was performed according to the AUASB's Australian Auditing Standards and Standards on Assurance Engagements.

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