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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.
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.
Avoid common problems by:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can contact the audits team at email@example.com or by telephone on 08 6552 9538 if you have any queries in relation to the audit process.