Amendments to the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act
2002 commenced from 1 July 2013. These amendments will change
the way licences fulfil their responsibilities in relation to
the auditing of trust accounts.
Prior to 1 July 2013, licensees who have held or received
trust money during their audit year are required to have their
trust accounts audited and lodge the audit returns with NSW Fair
Trading whether the audit was qualified or not.
Licensees who did not hold or receive any money for or on
behalf of any person during the audit period are required to lodge a
statutory declaration with Fair Trading to that effect.
As mentioned above, the amendments to the Property, Stock and
Business Agents Act 2002 commenced from 1 July 2013.Commencing
from the 2012/2013 audit year, the amendments provide a new
framework for how licensees handle their trust account auditing
responsibilities under the Act.
In the case that your trust accounts were inactive for the audit
period and you will be filing a statutory declaration, then an
auditor is not required and you can complete the form before a
Justice of the Peace or a solicitor, sign it, have it witnessed
and post the form to Fair Trading.
The major changes include:
- While all licensees who have held or received trust
money during their audit year will still need to have their
trust accounts audited, only those audits which are
qualified by the auditor are required to be lodged by the
auditor with Fair Trading.
What is a qualified report?
The amendments define 'qualified' 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.
- Licensees who did not hold or receive trust money during
the audit year will no longer lodge a statutory declaration
to that effect. In its place, licensees will be required to
note whether or not they did so when they next re-apply for
- Licensees are now required to hold a copy of their trust
account audit (whether qualified or not) at their registered
place of business, for at least 3 years, and make it
available to Fair Trading inspectors for examination, if
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The list of persons who are qualified to audit trust accounts
under the Act is extended to include authorised audit companies,
members of a Professional Accounting Body as defined under ASIC
Regulations 2001 (CPA Australia, Institute of Chartered
Accountants in Australia and National Institute of Chartered
Accountants) holding a Public Practising Certificate with one or
more of those bodies.
Michael Quinn, director of The Quinn Group is a Certified
auditor by the Australian Institute of Chartered Accountants.
The Quinn Group's accountants can carry out real estate trust
account audits and assist licensees in ensuring their trust
accounts meet Fair Trading regulations.
The auditor is required to forward a copy of the trust
account audit, if qualified to Fair Trading within 14 days after
providing the report to the licensee. A maximum penalty of 50
penalty units or $5,500 is provided for a breach of this
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As a licensee, if you have held or received trust money
during the audit year of 2012/2013, the account will need to be
audited. Our dedicated team of registered auditors can complete
the trust account audit and lodge the report (if required) with
Fair Trading. To speak with our auditors,
and submit the express enquiry form or call us on +61 2 9223
9166 to arrange an