The submission date (generally 31 October, but double check below) for your AFSL audit is nearly upon us for those with a 30 June financial year end. If you haven’t started your preparations, it is imperative you do so – AFS licensees should be making arrangements with their auditors to ensure their annual accounts and audit report are prepared and ready to be submitted to ASIC.
What do you need to Submit?
As a first step, AFS licensees should ensure their financial and compliance records are easily accessible to make the preparation for the audit quick and simple. It is also important that AFS licensees know and understand the documentation that needs to be submitted for their audit as this varies between licensees.
Generally, AFS licensees are required to provide ASIC with:
- a profit and loss statement and balance sheet (both included with Form FS70); and
- an auditor’s report (Form FS71).
The Form FS70 incorporates a profit and loss statement and balance sheet that provides ASIC with an outline of the current financial situation of the AFS licensee. The form also covers the specific requirements applicable to particular AFS licensees e.g. Responsible Entities, Custodial and Depository Service Providers and OTC Derivative Issuers. An AFS licensee’s financial statements are required to be attached to the FS70. The Form FS71 is the audit report which is prepared and signed off by the AFS licensee’s registered auditor.
In addition to the above, licensees must also consider whether they fall within ASIC’s list of company types which are required to also submit a Form 388. The Form 388 is used to provide ASIC with a copy of the AFS licensees’ financial statements, auditor reports and registered auditor information.
AFS licensees required to submit a Form 388, include:
- Managed Investment Schemes;
- Public companies;
- Large Proprietary companies which are not disclosing entities; and
- Small-Proprietary Foreign controlled companies.
Limited AFS Licensees
If you are a Limited AFS licensee, the annual audit requirement doesn’t apply to you. Limited AFS licensees are simply required to prepare and submit a profit and loss statement and balance sheet attached to the FS70 as well as Form FS76. The FS76 is an annual compliance certificate which requires Limited AFS licensees to provide a range of certifications to ASIC including information on client money, conflicts of interest, dispute resolution, risk management and training.
When do you need to Submit?
Submission dates vary for AFS licensees; therefore, it is important that you know when your audit is required to be submitted to avoid potential breaches (which are reportable to ASIC) and late fees.
If the entity holding the AFSL is a body corporate that is not a disclosing entity: the FS70 and FS71 are due within four months of 30 June (i.e. 31 October each year). This date includes entities required to submit the Form 388 in addition to the FS70 and FS71.
If you are an entity which is required to submit the Form 388, ensure your auditor is aware of this obligation in order to ensure you submit on time. Forms submitted late will incur late lodgement fees with ASIC.
Preparing for Submission
It is important that AFS licensees double check the information completed by their auditor. Directors should ensure they review all forms and documentation prior to submission. All information that is submitted to ASIC must be accurate, including the information that has been prepared by the auditor.
Remember, the audit is a mechanism for ASIC to ensure AFSL holders are meeting their financial obligations. AFSL holders who fail to lodge annual financial statements can expect to be the subject of disciplinary action by ASIC and potentially have their AFSL revoked.
For further information on what to submit and when, please refer to ASIC’s website.
If you require assistance in preparing for your audit or understanding your obligations, please contact us.
Ivana is responsible for all Marketing activities for Sophie Grace and assists both the Compliance and Legal teams with a particular focus on Compliance services. Ivana focuses on website development, management and ensures clients receive the latest regulatory updates through Sophie Grace social media channels, the newsletter and website blog page. Ivana also assists the Compliance team with drafting and amending compliance documentation, preparing AFSL and ACL Applications and implementing ongoing compliance solutions.