When audit time rolls near, it’s not only an exercise in compliance, but a real chance to take stock of your business – to identify opportunities and minimise risks. Real estate agencies have special audit obligations when holding monies in trust accounts. Licensees must arrange an audit engagement by the prescribed due dates specified in relevant state legislation and administered by each state’s Fair Trading department.
Each state has varying compliance obligations and due dates for real estate trust account audits. For example, in New South Wales, the audit must be completed within three months after the financial year ended June 30, whereas in Queensland, the due date of the audit is contingent on the month the licence was obtained. It is important to be informed and know what’s required in your state. At Madden Partners, we specialise in real estate trust account audits of all sizes and scopes, with a client base extending throughout New South Wales and Queensland, and we’ll keep you abreast of your obligations and legislative changes for your state as they occur.
It is extremely important for any real estate agent operating a trust account to arrange an auditor well before the audit due date. This ensures that you avoid unintentionally missing deadlines, which can involve penalties, convictions or a loss of licence in some circumstances. Being prepared also enables adequate time to discuss your needs and obligations as well as fully planning and assessing the scope of the audit. The friendly, approachable team at Madden Partners is committed to removing the stress, mystery and paperwork of the audit process by assisting you in being as fully prepared as possible, as early as possible.
The Audit Process
- Planning – Planning the audit is an essential aspect of an audit engagement, where the auditor gauges the scope of the work, the required audit tests and review of internal controls. We take the time to get to know you and your business to get a thorough understanding of your audit requirements, as well as keeping you informed throughout the process. We pride ourselves on being available and approachable so that you have access to the crucial information you need to get the most out of the planning discussions.
- Testing – Once the scope of the work has been established during the planning phase, audit testing commences, which is tailored to your business. Audit testing is comprehensive and may include reviews of internal controls, reviews and reconciliations of accounting data and compliance with relevant legislation. At Madden Partners, we are thorough, and we also treat the audit as an opportunity to give you practical recommendations to enhance your business operations.
- Reporting – Upon completion of the audit process, the audit report is prepared and issued, then lodged with the relevant state body. We can take care of this step for you as well. We will discuss the outcome of the audit in detail, ensuring that you understand the outcomes. It is not only the report itself that is important at this stage, but the practical recommendations that we provide at no additional cost.
We take advantage of modern technology to facilitate a fully remote and streamlined approach to the audit process, so that we can take care of your needs wherever you are. This also makes it more convenient and easier to switch from your current auditor. As Chartered Accountants and registered company auditors with a client-first focus, we are a first-rate alternative for your audit experience. For a discussion around your audit needs, contact James or Kiah today and take advantage of our ‘Country Service, City Qualified’ philosophy.