ASIC has proposed allowing class order CO 12/1687 Competency Standards for approved SMSF auditors to expire on 1 April 2023.

Under the Legislation Act 2003, legislative instruments such as class orders expire or ‘sunset’ after 10 years unless action is taken to exempt or preserve them, to make sure they continue to be fit for purpose.

In 2012, ASIC made CO 12/1687 under powers granted by the SIS Act which allows the regulator to make competency standards that must be complied with by all approved SMSF auditors.

From 1 July 2013, the SIS Act required all auditors of SMSFs to be registered with ASIC. This was to ensure that all SMSF auditors meet at least base standards of competency and expertise.

The regulator has instead formed the view the class order is no longer required and does not form a necessary and relevant part of the legislative framework.

ASIC disqualifies and suspends SMSF auditors for not complying with auditing and independence standards as within the SIS Act.

ASIC has asked anyone affected by the expiry of the class order to make submission to the regulator by 10 March 2023.

Approved SMSF auditors must also comply with the auditing and assurance standards made by the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board and prescribed independence requirements, being APES 110 Code of ethics for professional accountants (including independence standards) issued by the Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards Board (APESB).