Trust account reviews
Trustees must ensure their trust accounts are independently reviewed at certain times or if directed to by the QBCC. They must engage a registered company auditor to do this.
When are trust account reviews required?
There is NO set review period for project trust accounts. This means a trust account review for a PTA will only be required on the QBCC’s direction.
For retention trust accounts, reviews must occur at the end of each review period.
The review period for a retention trust account is:
- for the first annual review—12 months starting from the day the account was opened
- for a subsequent annual review—12 months starting the day after the previous review period ended
- for closure of a retention trust account—the day the account was opened (if no previous review has been undertaken), or the day after the last review was completed, until the day the account was closed.
The QBCC can give a direction for a review of a project trust account or a retention trust account in specific circumstances. In this case, the review period and timeframes for compliance will be stated in the direction.
What are the timelines for account reviews?
Trust account reviews:
- must start within 20 business days after the end of the review period
- must be completed within 40 business days after being started
- must be submitted to the QBCC and the trustee (as an account review report) by the auditor within 20 business days after the review is completed.
If the account review is being carried out as per a direction by the QBCC, the timeframes given in the direction must be followed.
Exemptions for account reviews
Trustees do not need to engage an auditor to complete a retention trust account review if:
- no retention amounts were held in the trust account during the review period, and
- the trustee gives the QBCC a notice of no trust account review, within 10 business days after the end of the review period, via myQBCC or using Form TA5.
Auditor for the review
The trustee is responsible for engaging the auditor to carry out account reviews. Once an auditor has been engaged, the trustee can nominate them as a representative on myQBCC. This will allow the auditor to submit the account review report in myQBCC. The auditor must be:
- independent of the trustee (for example, not an employee or related entity)
- a registered company auditor—registered company auditors can be found using the ASIC register
- not excluded by the QBCC Commissioner
- given access to the trust records they require.
Role of the auditor
An auditor is required to assess and form a conclusion about a trustee’s compliance as it relates to the administration of the trust account.
An auditor must:
- conduct their review as a reasonable assurance engagement (as outlined in ASAE 3100 Compliance Engagements)
- prepare an account review report stating their conclusion about the trustee’s compliance and identifying any non-compliance and irregularities
- submit their account review report to the QBCC (preferably via myQBCC)
- provide a copy of the account review report to the trustee.
For more information, view the Auditor guide—trust accounts (PDF 714KB).
If, when completing the account review, an auditor finds any serious instances of non-compliance , these must be reported to the QBCC within 5 business days of the finding, either:
- via myQBCC or
- using Form TA6: