The financial reports of organisations and their branches must be audited by a registered auditor. This is required by the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (the RO Act).
The register of auditors
The auditors of registered organisations must be separately registered with the Commission.
Registration as a company auditor with ASIC does not entitle an auditor to audit a registered organisation. However, registered company auditors who apply for registration with the Commission are subject to reduced assessment criteria.
The register of auditors lists all the auditors registered by the Commission.
A registered auditor must advise the Commission of any changes in circumstances that could materially affect the person’s registration within 14 days of the change. A failure to report changes in circumstances may result in the imposition of a civil penalty.
A registered auditor can make amendments to their entry in the register by emailing a completed change in details of a registered auditor form to email@example.com.
Eligibility to hold the position of auditor
The position of auditor must be held by:
- an individual who is a registered auditor and who is not an excluded auditor (see section 6 RO Act)
- a firm with at least one member who is a registered auditor and where no members are an excluded auditor
- a company with at least one director, officer or employee who is a registered auditor and where there is no director, officer or employee who is an excluded auditor.
The individual, firm or company must resign from the position of auditor if they no longer meet this criteria.
Powers and duties of auditors
The auditor is entitled to full and free access to all records and other documents of the reporting unit relating to the financial report. They are also entitled to seek information and explanations for the purpose of the audit.
Additionally, the auditor:
- must be forwarded notices of meetings at which the report is presented
- has a right to attend and speak at a meeting concerning the financial report or their appointment
- enjoys qualified privilege against defamation
- must have their reasonable fees and expenses paid by the reporting unit
- can only be removed in accordance with the requirements of the RO Act.
There are penalties for obstructing auditors.
If an auditor suspects there has been a breach of the RO Act or the Reporting Guidelines, and believes the matter cannot be adequately dealt with by comment in a report or by reporting the matter to the committee of management of the reporting unit, the auditor must report the matter to the General Manager of the Commission.
There are penalty provisions in the RO Act concerning the auditor, their appointment and the audit of financial reports.
The registration of auditors
Registrations of an auditor must be approved by the General Manager. The auditor must be registered before accepting the appointment as an auditor of an organisation or a branch of an organisation.
Auditors who are already a registered company auditor under the Corporations Act can apply for registration by submitting an application for registration as a registered auditor by an individual who is a registered company audit.
Auditors who are not a registered company auditor under the Corporations Act need to submit the following:
- Application for registration as a registered auditor by an individual who is not a registered company auditor
- Document A: Practical auditing and other equivalent experience
- Document B: Capability report
- Document C: Capability declaration
- Document D: Auditor competencies logbook
Submit forms to firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about applying to become a registered auditor.
The rotation of auditors
The RO Act limits the number of consecutive years that a registered auditor (or their firm) can audit the financial report of a reporting unit. An individual can only participate in the audit of a reporting unit for five consecutive years, or five out of seven consecutive years.
The Commission monitors financial reports to ensure reporting units appropriately rotate their auditors.
Find out more about the rotation of auditors.
Cancellation or suspension of registration
Registered auditors can cancel or suspend their registration by lodging a cancellation or suspension of auditor registration form with the Commission.
If an auditor's registration is on the basis that they are a registered company auditor, and their registration as a company auditor is cancelled or suspended, the auditor must complete and lodge the same form.
The General Manager may cancel or suspend registration if the auditor:
- has failed to carry out their duties under the RO Act
- has not performed audit work during a period of not less than five years and consequently does not have the requisite experience
- is otherwise not a fit and proper person to remain registered.
In the above instances, the General Manager must notify the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) of any suspension or cancellation and the reasons for the suspension or cancellation.
The General Manager must inform the auditor of the decision to cancel or suspend their registration no later than 14 days after the decision has been made. The reasons for the decision must be provided.
Make enquires about registered auditors at email@example.com.