An Analysis of ASIC Enforcement Against Auditors and Liquidators
Company and Securities Law Journal, Vol. 38, No. 2, 2021, pp. 112-137
28 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2021
Date Written: October 15, 2020
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has emphasised the importance of its enforcement role in relation to auditors and liquidators. However, there is little detailed analysis of what enforcement action ASIC has undertaken against auditors and liquidators. Using several sources (ASIC enforcement reports, ASIC media releases, ASIC regulation of registered liquidator reports, and reports of the Companies Auditors Disciplinary Board and its predecessor), the authors analyse ASIC enforcement outcomes against auditors and liquidators between July 2011 and December 2019. The findings include (1) a particularly strong emphasis by ASIC on negotiated enforcement outcomes and administrative remedies rather than court based outcomes; (2) within these negotiated outcomes, a strategy to employ undertakings regarding professional education and independent review of the auditor’s or liquidator’s practice with the objective of improving the practice; (3) a particular enforcement focus on self-managed superannuation fund auditors; and (4) very limited use by ASIC of the Companies Auditors Disciplinary Board.
Keywords: enforcement; auditors; liquidators; Australian Securities and Investments Commission
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