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Tips to help you get your 2022 compliance report right

12 December 2022

The 2022 compliance reporting period is fast approaching.

Accurate and on time lodgement of your compliance report is one of your obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act). The information you provide in your compliance report is critical in helping us monitor how businesses are meeting their obligations, and what support and guidance may be needed for different industries.

To help you complete and lodge your 2022 compliance report, here are our top three tips based on what you told us last year.

Tip 1: Ensure that outsourced AML/CTF functions are tailored to your business

Many businesses seek assistance with their AML/CTF compliance by outsourcing one or more AML/CTF functions to an external provider. In 2021, many businesses told us they had outsourced the development of their AML/CTF program, however did not ensure that the program was tailored to their business and its unique circumstances. It is vital that the systems, controls and procedures that make up an AML/CTF program take into account the nature, size and complexity of each reporting entity’s business. If a template is used as the basis for your AML/CTF program, AUSTRAC expects that it is customised for the specific ML/TF risks faced by your business.

Tip 2: Use a strong transaction monitoring program to detect suspicious activity

AUSTRAC reported in 2020 that a number of businesses had transaction monitoring programs (TMPs) that did not detect any potentially suspicious activity in the preceding 12 months. Although the extent of this reduced in 2021, businesses should ensure that their TMPs allow them to identify and report suspicious activity. The suspicious matter reports that you submit are critical for AUSTRAC, law enforcement and other regulatory agencies to detect, deter and disrupt criminal activity.

Tip 3: AUSTRAC’s education and guidance materials

AUSTRAC develops guidance and education materials to help your business comply with its obligations. AUSTRAC also engages directly with reporting entities and provides feedback on their compliance. For example, as a result of information provided in your 2021 compliance report, AUSTRAC engaged directly with about 300 businesses throughout 2022 to assist them with their compliance. Businesses should ensure they take into account AUSTRAC’s guidance and feedback and where relevant, use this to strengthen their risk-based systems and controls. Updated guidance is published on our website and may also be sent directly to businesses. Ensure you keep your AUSTRAC enrolment and account details up to date through your AUSTRAC Online account.

Get ready for the 2022 compliance report

The 2022 compliance report reporting period opens on 1 January 2023 and must be submitted by 31 March 2023. If you are required to submit a compliance report, you can preview the questions to help you prepare. 

Remember, if you don’t submit your report by the due date, AUSTRAC can take enforcement action and you may face penalties. If your contact details have changed, you must ensure you have updated those details with AUSTRAC.  If your details are not up to date, AUSTRAC can take further enforcement action.  Find out more about the consequences of not complying.

For more information, see our compliance reports page.