Register and obligations of registered auditors

Register of Auditors

The Register of auditors (XLSX 29.8KB) lists all of the auditors registered by the ROC.

To make corrections to your entry in the Register, please forward Change in details of a registered auditor form (DOCX 121.5KB) setting out the necessary changes and your registration number to regorgs@roc.gov.au.

For information, queries or complaints about registered auditors please contact the Registered Organisations Commission via regorgs@roc.gov.au

 

Webinar

The Registered Organisations Commission has put together a helpful webinar to assist auditors to register and then understand their responsibilities within the new registration scheme.  The webinar includes information about:

  • how to register as a registered auditor
  • obligations of registered auditors
  • rotation of registered auditors
  • excluded auditors
  • tools available to assist auditors and
  • common misconceptions

The webinar is available to view at any time and allows you to ask questions and provide feedback on the process and other tools on our website.

external-icon.png Please take the time to view the webinar.

Rotation of auditors

The Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (the RO Act) limits the number of consecutive years that a registered auditor (or their firm) can audit an organisation’s or a branch’s financial report. 

An individual can only participate in the audit of a reporting unit for 5 consecutive years (or 5 out of 7 consecutive years).

This rotation commences from 2 May 2017 and only includes audits conducted after this date.

The ROC will be monitoring financial reports to ensure that all reporting units appropriately rotate their auditors.

Model Statements

The ROC provides model statements to assist organisations and reporting units to comply with the numerous requirements of the RO Act, the AASB and the Reporting Guidelines.  The statements contain all mandatory provisions, clearly marked, and the standard policies and notes.  Organisations should make changes to the statements as required to fit the circumstances of the reporting unit provided no compulsory items are removed.

The model statements are updated every financial year and are available to download on the Fact sheets, templates and webinar page.

Common misconceptions 

There are some common misunderstandings concerning the Financial Report. They include:

Misconception: The requirements of a report under the RO Act are the same as for Corporations

Requirement: The Reporting Guidelines add substantial mandatory requirements to an organisation or branch’s financial report. These matters must be included and an auditor must state whether they believe the report presents fairly in accordance with the Reporting Guidelines.

Misconception: The Model Statements cannot be changed

Requirement: A reporting unit should make changes to the Model Statements to ensure that accounting policies and material events are represented, however asterisked items cannot be removed. These items are mandated by the reporting guidelines.

Misconception: The Committee of Management Statement is completely separate

Requirement: The audit of the full report must include the Committee of Management statement within its scope (and therefore the auditor’s report must be dated after the resolution of the Committee of Management and the signing of the statement). Consequently meetings and compliance with the RO Act and rules are within the scope of the audit.

Misconception: The auditor’s report has exactly the same content as for Corporations

Requirement: The Reporting Guidelines introduce a number of requirements that affect the content of the Auditor’s Report including the declaration regarding going concern.;

Misconception: State associations and state branches of federal organisations can be reported together

Requirement: Generally, the State Association will be a separate legal entity to the federal state branch. These entities have separate officers, property, accounts and financial reports. If a branch is encompassed by the state association it may be able to obtain an exemption from reporting (s. 269).

Misconception: Financial reports can contain cash accounting

Requirement: While the RO Act allows organisations to keep their records on a cash basis, they must report on an accruals basis, including capitations and subscriptions, but excluding the Cashflow Statement.

Misconception: Loans, grants and donations only appear in the Financial Report

Requirement: Organisations and branches report their loans, grants and donations separately within 90 days of the end of the financial year. These figures are able to be compared to the ones that appear in the financial report (s. 237).

Misconception: Previous assessments have no impact on this year’s assessment

Requirement: Items that have been raised in correspondence the previous year will be checked to ensure that they have been corrected in the next report. A report will not be filed unless these items have been addressed.

Informing the Commissioner of Changes

A registered auditor must inform the Commissioner of any changes in their circumstances that may materially affect their registration within 14 days. A failure to do so is subject to a penalty.

Further, in order to maintain the accuracy of the register, auditors need to advise the ROC of any changes to their details by declaration as soon as practicable. A change of details form (DOCX 121.5KB) is available on the ROC website.

Who can hold the position of an auditor

The position of auditor of a reporting unit must be held by:

  • An individual who is a registered auditor and who is not an excluded auditor
  • A firm, at least one of whose members is a registered auditor and where no member is an excluded auditor
  • A company, at least one of whose directors, officers or employees is a registered auditor and has no director, officer or employee who is an excluded auditor.

If the above description no longer applies (for instance, a relevant person becomes an excluded auditor or is no longer registered) the individual, firm or company must resign the position of auditor.

For information on becoming a registered auditor see our fact sheet: Registration of Auditors.

Excluded Auditors

An auditor can be excluded in relation to a specific organisation or reporting unit. 

Excluded auditor means:

  • an officer, former officer, employee or former employee of the organisation or reporting unit;
  • a partner, employer or employee of a person in the first dot point;
  • a relative of a person in the first dot point;
  • a liquidator in respect of property of the reporting unit or the organisation;
  • a person who owes more than $5,000 to the reporting unit or organisation; or
  • a person who would not be, or whom a reasonable person would consider would not be, capable of exercising objection and impartial judgment in relation to audits relating to the reporting unit having regard to all the circumstances.

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 directly or indirectly to the receipt or payment of money, or to the acquisition, receipt, custody or disposal of assets, by the reporting unit;
  • to seek from any designated officer, or employee of the reporting unit, such information and explanations as the auditor or authorised person wants for the purposes of the audit.

There are penalties for obstructing auditors.

Suspected Breach

If an auditor suspects, on reasonable grounds, that there has been a breach of the RO Act or the Reporting Guidelines, and the auditor is of the opinion that 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, in writing, to the Commissioner.

Other rights

The auditor:

  • must be forwarded notices relating to the meetings at which the report is presented;
  • has a right to attend and speak at the part of a meeting that concerns the 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 section 263, which specifies decision making bodies and majorities.

Penalties

The RO Act contains penalties concerning the auditor, their appointment and the audit of financial reports.  The Commissioner is able to pursue financial penalties if the provisions relating to the audit of financial reports are not complied with.

Frequently asked questions

Please see our Registration of auditors page for more details as to why and how you register.

Only people who have been approved by the Commissioner are on the register. A person who has previously held, or was a member of a firm that held the position of auditor of a registered organisation or branch and was an approved auditor and who wish to continue to hold that position of auditor must apply to be registered.

All registered auditors are listed in the register. If your auditor does not appear in that list, they are not currently registered. From 2 May 2017, financial reports must be audited by a registered auditor. There is a transitional period of three months for auditors appointed by the organisation or branch prior to 2 May 2017. This transitional recognition ceases on 2 August 2017.

The requirement began on 2 May 2017 and the five financial years do not include audits that were undertaken before this date. Only audits after 2 May 2017 will be counted towards the five consecutive financial years.

Once registration is granted, you are registered until it is cancelled or suspended (by the ROC or at your request) or you die. There is no renewal requirement.

You complete the form requesting the suspension or cancellation requesting the suspension or cancellation and the Commissioner will determine whether to do so.

Yes, please do. The register is used by reporting units to locate registered auditors and by the ROC to contact you with changes in the legislation.

Please complete the form notifying us of the changes.

You must inform us of changes to your circumstances that may materially affect your registration. There are penalties for failing to inform.

f you have concerns about your registered auditor, please contact us at regorgs@roc.gov.au.