Trust account auditors

Information for auditors of real estate and conveyancer trust accounts.

From 1 July 2019, you must lodge all audit results with Fair Trading. This is a change from previous years when only qualified audits needed to be lodged.

Results of trust account audits need to be lodged via the Auditors Report Online portal (accessible at the bottom of this page). We no longer accept paper-based auditor reports.

Auditor responsibilities

The audit of the trust account must be done in accordance with Australian Standards on Assurance Engagements, in particular, ASAE 3000 and ASAE 3100.

The auditor is required to form an opinion on whether the agent has complied with the relevant acts and regulations, in all material respects.

The introduction of the online report does not change the requirements of the audit but provides a means of reporting non-compliance of the Act or Regulations identified in the course of conducting the audit. The responses to the checklist in the portal should be based on the scope and nature of work performed by the Auditor and does not imply that the Auditor has tested all transactions.

It is important to note that this is not the audit itself. This is simply a mechanism to submit your findings.

Audit testing

Audit testing is based on materiality to provide reasonable assurance of compliance but not absolute assurance.  If an agent has relatively few transactions or instances of compliance processes, it may be appropriate to test 100 percent of transactions or compliance processes. However, where an agent has numerous clients and large volumes of transactions, the auditor applies materiality to select and test samples to obtain enough audit evidence on which to base their opinion.

Audit lodgement deadlines

Audits for the year ending 30 June 2020 need to be lodged with Fair Trading by 31 December 2020.

This is an extension of the normal deadline of 30 September. We have extended the deadline for 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19.

Why has the audit process changed?

The changes to trust account audits are part of reforms being rolled out in NSW to improve the skills of real estate and property professionals, and raise the sector’s professional and education standards. Read more about the reforms and the consultations held about them.

Auditors Report Online portal and supporting documents

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