Q: Do I need to provide a copy of my super fund’s trust deed and financial strategy to my SMSF fund auditor in order to complete the auditing process?
‘Yes’ is the answer, based on the ATO website’s guidance, and based on the super rules that approved SMSF auditors are supposed to review to ensure SMSF trustees are complying with reporting and compliance requirements.
For example, the ATO states that the approved SMSF auditor should obtain evidence that the super fund meets the definition of a SMSF by checking the fund’s trust deed, current number and names of members, type of trustee [corporate or individual], relationships between employees [if employees are members, or if married or otherwise related], names of each trustee, details of legal personal representatives [if relevant].
In relation to an SMSF’s investment strategy, the super laws demand that trustees formulate and implement an investment strategy. As an SMSF trustee you must also regularly review your fund’s investment strategy.
The ATO states that the approved SMSF auditor should obtain evidence that the investment strategy is regularly reviewed by actually looking at the documented investment strategy for the SMSF, and sighting minutes where the trustees have reviewed the strategy, or reviewing an updated investment strategy.
Note: Also, under section 35C (2) of the SIS Act, a trustee must give an appointed auditor any documents requested in writing by the auditor within 14 days.
For more detail on ATO guidance for SMSF audits, see the following links:
For more information on SMSF audits, SMSF trust deeds and other compliance matters, see the following SuperGuide articles:
- SMSF audit: you must appoint an approved SMSF auditor
- Guide to the SMSF trustee declaration
- Guest contributor: SMSF trustee opposes three-yearly SMSF audits
- Guide to SMSF trust deeds
- What to consider when looking for an SMSF provider
- SMSFs for Beginners: Trish’s 10 commandments of DIY super
- SMSF compliance: Is your fund due for a super service?
- Guide to minimum pension payments rules (including calculator)
- Guide to SMSFs and insurance
- Are SMSF audits too expensive?