Real Estate and Business Agent audit requirements
Section 87 of the Real Estate and Business Agents Act 1978 provides that if a trading body corporate or firm complies with the requirements of Part VI of the Act, then the directors/ partners and/or person in bona fide control of the trading entity have also complied with Part VI of the Act, and are therefore not required to submit a separate annual audit report or statutory declaration. This only applies if you have been a director/ partner and/or person in bona fide control of the trading entity for the full audit period 1 January to 31 December.
If at any time during the audit period, you did not hold one of the above roles for a trading entity and you held a current triennial certificate, you are required to submit an audit report or statutory declaration as set out below.
When an audit report is required
Section 70(1) of the Real Estate and Business Agents Act 1978 (the Act) requires that every individual, body corporate, or firm (partnership) that carries on business as a real estate or business agent during the whole or part of a year, shall cause the business trust accounts to be audited by a duly qualified auditor approved by the Commissioner for Consumer Protection (the Commissioner).
Real Estate and Business Agents having no accounts to audit
A statutory declaration may be submitted in lieu of an audit report where real estate and business agents have no accounts to audit.
Section 86 of the Act provides for an agent who holds a current triennial certificate and has neither received nor held any money for or on behalf of any other person during the same period.
A statutory declaration to that effect can be provided in lieu of an annual audit report.
When is the deadline for audit reports and statutory declarations?
Section 70(3) of the Act:
(3) The auditor shall within 3 months after the end of each calendar year — i.e. by 31 March of the following year*
(a) deliver to the Commissioner a report of the result of the audit, verified by a statutory declaration of the auditor, in an approved form; and
(b) deliver a copy of the report so verified to the agent.
*Note: the deadline of 31 March is also applicable for the submission of statutory declarations in lieu of an audit report.
Any audit report or statutory declaration of no receipt of trust funds received for the year which is received after the due date of 31 March in the following year may cause the Commissioner to issue an Infringement Notice with a $600 penalty for a breach of section 70(1) of the Act. Therefore agents should ensure they maintain a written record of any communication with their auditor, including advising the auditor that records are ready for auditing and the dates the auditor attends the agent’s office.
For any queries regarding your audit requirement please can contact the Trust and Audits team on 08 6552 9538 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional forms and publications are available on the forms and publications page.
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