AFSL holders who fail to lodge annual financial statements can expect to be the subject of disciplinary action by ASIC. It is imperative that all AFS licensees prepare their annual accounts and audit report and lodge them by the required deadline. This is a mechanism for ASIC to ensure AFSL holders are meeting the financial requirements to adequately provide financial services in accordance with compliance obligations.
Correct completion of the forms by the auditor is another aspect that AFSL holders should review prior to submission to ASIC. Unfortunately we have seen instances where the auditor has made errors which required breach reports by the AFSL holder or further auditing by the auditor (at the AFSL holder’s expense) after the errors were detected by ASIC.
AFS licensees have different deadlines for the lodgement of financial statements:
- Pty Ltd companies – If an AFS licensee is a body corporate that is not a disclosing entity within 4 months after the end of its financial year. For example, if the financial year ends on 30 June, an AFS licensee which is not a disclosing entity must lodge by 31 October.
- Ltd companies (public unlisted and listed) – If an AFS licensee is a body corporate that is a disclosing entity, the licensee must lodge its financial reports within 3 months after the end of its financial year. For example, if the financial year ends on 30 June, an AFS licensee which is a disclosing entity must lodge by 30 September.
- Individuals and other entity types – If an AFS licensee is not a body corporate, within 2 months after the end of its financial year. The financial year of an AFS licensee who is not a body corporate must end on 30 June. This means an AFS licensee who is not a body corporate must lodge by 31 August.
ASIC will continue to investigate AFS licensees which have not lodged audited financial statements and take disciplinary action against them if they fail to lodge these statements.
For more information, please refer to http://asic.gov.au/for-finance-professionals/afs-licensees/changing-details-and-lodging-afs-forms/afs-licensees-lodging-annual-accounts-and-audit-report-using-forms-fs70-and-fs71/
Please contact us if you require assistance with the preparation and assistance of your audit accounts.