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Trust account audit requirements 

Under the Property Stock and Business Agents Act 2002, licensees' records in relation to the handling of trust money must be audited.

NOTE - Audit documentation relating to the 2012/13 financial year will not be mailed to licensees. The required documentation should be downloaded from this web page. 

 

General information 

Who is required to have their trust accounts audited?

The following people must have their trust accounts audited if they received or held trust money during the financial year ending 30 June 2013:

  • a licensee
  • a former licensee, or
  • a personal representative of a licensee.

Who is required to submit an audit?

The following people must submit an audit of their trust account to the Director-General if they received or held trust money during the financial year ending 30 June 2013, and the auditor's report was qualified by the auditor:

  • a licensee
  • a former licensee, or
  • a personal representative of a licensee.

When must the audit be lodged?

The qualified audit must be lodged within 3 months after the end of the audit period. The qualified audit for most agents must be lodged with the Director-General no later than 30 September 2013.

If a qualified trust account audit is not lodged by the due date, licensees could be disqualified from holding a licence and possibly prevented from renewing a licence.

In most cases, it is the licensed corporation that receives and is responsible for trust funds. Therefore, in most cases, a qualified trust account audit must be lodged by the licensed corporation. However, if an individual licensee receives and is responsible for trust money, then a qualified trust account audit must be lodged by the individual licensee.

Note that the auditor is now also required to lodge a copy of the qualified audit with Fair Trading within 14 days after providing the report to the licensee.

What is a 'qualified' audit report?

Qualified audit report is now defined in the Act as a discovery by the auditor of a breach of the Act or Regulations, any discrepancy relating to the trust account or a failure to keep records in a manner that enables them to be properly audited.

NOTE: You do not need to submit the audit report if it is not qualified.

Who can conduct the audit?

Auditors must be registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) or be qualified under s.115(1)(b) of the Act.  The list of persons who are qualified to conduct audits has now been widened. Authorised audit companies, members of a Professional Accounting Body as defined under the ASIC Regulation 2001 (ie. CPA Australia, Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and National Institute of Accountants) holding a Public Practising Certificate with one or more of those bodies.

Check that an auditor is registered by searching for their details on the ASIC website.

Frequently asked questions

Download a copy of the Frequently asked questions - audit requirements 2013 (PDF size: 217kb) for answers to common questions about the audit process and requirements.

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Audit for 2012/13 financial year 

To prepare an audit report for trust money held during the 2012/13 financial year, download the following two documents:

Qualified Audits must be submitted to:

Director-General
Department of Finance and Services
c/- NSW Fair Trading
Real Estate Audit Section
Locked Bag 5066
Parramatta NSW 2124

If you have any queries about the audit requirements please contact Fair Trading on 13 32 20.

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If no trust money is held in 2012/13 

Licensees, whether a licensed corporation or an individual licensee, no longer need to lodge a statutory declaration with NSW Fair Trading if they have not held any trust money during 2012/13.

However, from 1 July 2013, licensees who have not held any trust money during the year preceding their licence renewal date are required to indicate this on their licence renewal form.

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Audits for other financial years 

If a licensee has an outstanding audit commitment for any of the previous three financial years, the required documentation is provided below.

For the 2011/12 financial year, download the appropriate document/s from the following:

For the 2010/11 financial year, download the appropriate document/s from the following:

For the 2009/10 financial year, download the appropriate document/s from the following:

If audit documentation relating to an alternative audit year is required, contact the Real Estate Audit Section of NSW Fair Trading on 9895 0200.

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