ASIC has announced that it will now consent to the resignation of an auditor at any time, subject only to a couple of provisos. The change represents a fundamental shift in ASIC’s approach and is designed to give greater flexibility in the timing of change of auditors.
Following consultation in 2013, ASIC has announced that it will now generally consent to the resignation of an auditor at any time of the year if:
- ASIC has no concerns in connection with the resignation, such as a concern where there is a disagreement between management and the auditor over an accounting treatment; and
- the change in auditor and the reasons for the change are communicated to members or in a disclosure notice, unless the change occurs at an AGM of a public company.
Previously, unless there were exceptional circumstances, ASIC would only consent to the resignation of an auditor of a public company to take place at an AGM. ASIC's changed approach is designed to give greater flexibility in the timing of changes of auditors, and is broadly consistent with the approach in other jurisdictions including Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States.
ASIC’s new approach is outlined in a revised Regulatory Guide 26 Resignation, removal and replacement of auditors which also sets out how to apply for ASIC consent to the resignation, removal and replacement of auditors of registered schemes, AFS licensee and credit licensee trust accounts.
See also ASIC media release dated 18 June 2015.