Urgent Reminder - 2019 audit report deadline fast approaching! - Real estate industry bulletin 219

This publication is for: 
Licence holdersProperty industry

26 March 2020

All agents who hold a current triennial certificate and have held or received monies in trust during the 2019 calendar year are reminded that they must lodge an audit report with the Commissioner for Consumer Protection (the Commissioner) by 31 March 2020.

Agents who have not held or received monies in trust during 2019 should submit a Declaration of no receipt of trust funds - real estate and business agents in lieu of an audit report.  This is also due by 31 March 2020.

Agents who have held the roles of bona fide control, branch manager, licensed director, partner or licensed partner for another licensed trading entity may be exempted from submitting an audit report or statutory declaration, for the period during which they held that role.

Agents operating a business under their individual licence and triennial certificate as a sole trader, who have held or received trust monies during 2019, will also need to follow the audit requirements for their trust accounts.

31 March 2020 = audit deadline

To date the Commissioner has received a total of 1,379 audits and statutory declarations.  This means there are currently 1,503 or approximately 52 per cent of returns outstanding.

Agents are reminded that an infringement notice may be issued where an audit report or declaration of ‘no receipt of trust funds’ is received after 31 March 2020, or not at all.  As the deadline for submission is fast approaching, agents should give priority to completing their audit or statutory declaration.

Tips

Avoid common problems by:

  • Disclosing all trust accounts, including interest bearing trust accounts.
  • Providing all records relating to discrepancies in trust accounts, regardless of how the error occurred or whether the department has already been notified.
  • Ensuring the address provided in any statutory declaration is the agent’s current address.

Change of auditor

If there has been a change of auditor please note the Commissioner is unable to accept audit reports from auditors whose appointment has not been approved.  The opportunity to request a change of auditor for the current audit has now expired and no further requests can be accepted.

For further information see A guide to auditing trust accounts: Real estate agents, business agents and settlement agents and business settlement agents

Agents and auditors are encouraged to submit audit reports and statutory declarations via email to audits@dmirs.wa.gov.au.

You can contact the audits team at audits@dmirs.wa.gov.au or by telephone on 08 6552 9538 if you have any queries in relation to the audit process.

 

Consumer Protection
Bulletin
Last updated 27 Mar 2020

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