Auditing estate agents trust accounts

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Annual auditing

You must have your trust accounts audited each year:

Download a copy of our Independent assurance report to the licensed estate agent (Word, 142KB).

You must lodge a copy of the audit report with us via myCAV within 10 business days of receiving it from the auditor. If you don't, you are committing an offence, which may result in a penalty of up to 120 penalty units. For more information, view our Penalties page for estate agents.

You must keep your trust accounts in a way that allows a proper and convenient audit.

You must also:

  • provide the auditor with all books, papers, accounts, documents, securities, statements and reports reasonably necessary for the audit, and any information they reasonably require
  • prepare, certify and produce for the auditor a statement detailing:
    • trust money held on the last day of the audit period
    • negotiable or bearer securities or deposit receipts you held that day, which represent money drawn from your trust account
  • retain a copy of the signed audit report for seven years after it is delivered to you, and be able to produce the report on demand.

Trust account not used during the audit period

If the trust account held or managed trust funds at any time during the audit period, you must have this trust account audited. If this trust account did not hold or manage trust funds at all during the audit period, you are not required to have this trust account audited. However, you must still confirm this via your myCAV account.

Approved auditor

An approved auditor is a practising public accountant who is a member of at least one of these professional bodies:

  • CPA Australia
  • the Institute of Public Accountants
  • the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.

An approved auditor cannot:

  • be an estate agent or the employee of an estate agent
  • be a partner of the estate agent whose trust accounts are being audited
  • have been, in the last two years, an employee or partner of the estate agent whose trust accounts are being audited
  • be a member, director, employee or officer of an estate agency corporation
  • keep, control or have custody of estate agent trust accounts.

Variation of audit date

The annual audit date can be varied from 30 June by applying to us, using the Application to vary trust account audit date (Word, 167 KB).

The new audit date cannot be more than 12 months after the previous auditor's report.

If approval is given, the trust account audit and auditor's report must be completed within three months of the new audit year-end date.

Final audit report

If an estate agency ceases to operate:

  • we must be notified in writing within 28 days
  • the agency's trust accounts must be audited within three months.

Additional reporting requirements

An auditor must provide us with a written report if they find:

  • an agent’s accounts are unable to be properly audited
  • any dishonesty or legal breach by an agent
  • a loss or deficiency of trust money
  • failure to pay or account for such a loss
  • failure to comply with the Act.

The auditor must also provide a signed copy of this report to the estate agent.