Proposed Changes to the lodgement of NSW Real Estate Trust Account Audits 2019

05-Mar-2019

The team at Simeoni, were among only a few auditors invited by NSW Fair Trading to give feedback on the new proposed real estate trust account auditing and reporting system to be introduced for the 2019 financial year.
 
There are a number of major proposed changes for all licensees to be aware of, these include:
 
- ALL audit reports must now be lodged for the 2019 financial year. 
In the past few years only reports with breaches required to be lodged, now all reports must be electronically lodged via the NSW Fair Trading portal by the qualified auditor. 
 
- An audit report must now be completed for each trust account. Therefore, if you have two trust accounts then two separate audit reports must be prepared and lodged. 
In the past, one audit report was completed for the Licensed entity even if they had multiple trust accounts.
 
- Each licensed entity will require to invite an auditor to perform the audit for each trust account through a newly established portal created by NSW Fair Trading. 
Licensees will receive email requests from their qualified Auditor for permission to audit each trust account.
 
- Audit reports will no longer be referred to as qualified or not qualified. The audit report will now have breaches noted (where applicable) which will then be assessed by NSW Fair Trading to determine the cause of action, from no action required to further investigation.
 
- All audit reports no longer require the licensee signature before they are electronically lodged by the auditor, NSW Fair Trading will assume the auditor has received written approval for lodgement from the licensee via an engagement prior to commencement of the audit.  
 
- NSW Fair Trading will now be able to monitor individual licensees better using this electronic lodgement system, they will also monitor franchisees more closely on their compliance records. This could have a big impact on franchises to maintain a higher standard of compliance. 
  
These are only a few of the changes demonstrated to us at the meeting with NSW Fair Trading still in the process of fine tuning the new lodgement system.
 
The team at Simeoni have already commenced preparing for the new audit report lodgement system. We understand this could potentially be disruptive to a number of clients, however we are working very hard to minimise the extra administration for clients.
 
We will keep you informed on any new developments.




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