Tag Archives: Audit Committee

Related Party Transactions and Audit Committee


The Companies Amendment Act, 2017 read with Notification S.O. 1833(E) dated 7th May 2018 amended law related to the audit committee. Certain transactions related to related parties shall be voidable unless ratified by the audit committee. In this post, we will discuss updated law related to approval of related parties in the audit committee.

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Out of Sahara Blues


Finally government tries to come out of Sahara Blues. Government earlier was in pressure to put corporate governance in place among private companies and tried well. Thereafter, industry lobby (read as vested interests among “promoters” and “professionals”) started pleaded mercy for all “otherwise honest players”.

Government initiated it journey with exemption notifications and now bring this amendment rules.

The Companies (Audit and Auditors) Second Amendment Rules, 2017 is interesting in more than one way. Statistically, this exemption will benefit only selected big players among private companies in India and their auditors.

Section 139(2) of the Companies Act, 2013 reads, “No listed company or a company belonging to such class or classes of companies as may be prescribed, shall appoint or re-appoint—

(a) an individual as auditor for more than one term of five consecutive years; and

(b) an audit firm as auditor for more than two terms of five consecutive years.”

Rule 5 of the Companies (Audit and Auditors) Rules 2014 before present amendments reads, “for the purposes of sub-section (2) of section 139, the class of companies shall mean the following classes of companies excluding one person companies and small companies:-

(a) all unlisted public companies having paid up share capital of rupees ten crore or more;

(b) all private limited companies having paid up share capital of rupees twenty crore or more;

(c) all companies having paid up share capital of below threshold limit mentioned in (a) and (b) above, but having public borrowings from financial institutions, banks or public deposits of rupees fifty crores or more.”

Now, the Companies (Audit and Auditors) Second Amendment Rules, 2017, amend clause (b) of rule 5. The amendment rules reads, “in the Companies (Audit and Auditors) Rules, 2014, in rule 5, in clause (b), for the word “twenty”, the word “fifty” shall be substituted.

This amendment rules increase threshold limit for rotation of auditors for private companies by a good 150%.

As number of companies and auditors is not much, it may not affect stakeholders significantly but our commitment towards corporate governance.

 

Board Committees for Insurance Companies


On 18th May 2016 Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India issued revised guidelines on corporate governance for insurance companies. In last post we discussed these guidelines in brief. In this post, we will briefly discuss, Board Committees for insurance companies as mentioned in these guidelines.

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REPORT OF THE COMPANIES LAW COMMITTEE – 6


On 1st February 2016, Ministry of Corporate Affairs uploaded the report of Companies Law Committee on its website here. In 6th post on this report, we will discuss recommendations of the committee related to Related Party transaction, Audit Committee, Managerial Remuneration, Key Managerial Personnel, etc.

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AUDIT COMMITTEE – ENTITY LISTED SPECIFIED SECURITIES


In this post we will discuss, audit committees under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Listing Obligation and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 for the listed entities which got listed its specified securities on Stock Exchanges.

Section 177 of the Companies Act, 2013 as discussed earlier here prescribes audit committee for every listed and certain other companies. Regulation 18 of the SEBI (LODR) Regulations, 2015 supplement this requirement for listed companies.

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OMNIBUS APPROVAL FOR RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS


Ministry of corporate Affairs issued a notification dated 14th December 2015 and published here in the Gazette of India dated 15th December 2015 regarding amendment in the Companies (Meetings of Board and its Power) Rules 2014.

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DUTIES AND POWERS OF AUDITORS


We have discussed provisions under the Companies Act 2013 related to audit report, duties, power and penalties earlier here.

Auditor’s Report:

The auditor shall make a report to the members of the company on accounts examined by him on every financial statements and report financial statement give a true and fair view of the state of the company’s affairs at the end of its financial year and profit or loss and cash flow for the year and such other matters. [Section 143(2)]

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LIABILITY AND DISQUALIFICATION OF AUDITOR


According to Section 147(2) of the Companies Act 2013 discussed earlier here, if an auditor of a company contravenes any of the provisions of section 139, section 143, section 144 or section 145, the auditor shall be punishable with fine which shall not be less than twenty-five thousand rupees but which may extend to five lakh rupees. If an auditor has contravened such provisions knowingly or willfully with the intention to deceive the company or its shareholders or creditors or tax authorities, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and with fine which shall not be less than one lakh rupees but which may extend to twenty-five lakh rupees.

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REMOVAL AND RESIGNATION OF AUDITOR


In this post we will discuss resignation and removal of auditor of a company.

REMOVAL:

The auditor may be removed from his office before expiry of his term only by special resolution after approval from central government. The auditor concern shall be given opportunity of being heard. [Section 140(1) of the Companies Act 2013 discussed earlier here]

The application to the Central Government for removal of auditor shall be made in Form ADT – 2 and shall be accompanied with fees as provided for this purpose under the Companies (Registration Offices and Fees) Rules, 2014. [Rule 7(1) of the Companies (Audit and Auditors) Rules 2014]

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AUDIT ROTATION


Sub – section (2) of this section 139 of the Companies Act, 2013 discussed earlier here expressly say that provide that no listed company or some other companies as notified shall appoint or re – appoint (i) an individual for more than one term of five consecutive years, or (ii) an audit firm for more than two terms of five consecutive years. Any audit firm shall not be appointed as auditor which has any common partner or partners with the firm whose tenure has expired in the company immediately preceding financial year.

For the purposes of sub-section (2) of section 139, the class of companies shall mean the following classes of companies excluding one person companies and small companies:-

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APPOINTMENT OF AUDITOR


True and fair Audits are core concern for corporate world and its regulators.  The manner of appointment of auditors may affect independence of audit. Section 139 of the Companies Act 2013 discussed earlier here, discuss appointment of auditor in detail.

The Companies (Audit and Auditors) Rules 2014 further prescribes tasteless syrup with bitter pills recommended under Chapter X of the Companies Act 2013.

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BOARD COMMITTEES IN COMPANIES ACT 2013


UPDATE: on 30th August 2013: Companies Bill 2012 became the Companies Act, 2013 (Act 18 of 2013).

Delegation of Power is buzz word in this Companies Bill 2012. This delegation is not only from legislature to Executive but also from Board of Directors to its committees. Committees are not new to Indian Corporate Jurisprudence. Audit Committee was introduced in the present Companies Act, 1956 twelve years ago in year 2000. Schedule XII also has Remuneration committee.

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FOOTSTEPS OF CORPORATE GOVERNANCE IN COMPANIES ACT 2013


(UPDATE: on 30th August 2013: Companies Bill became the Companies Act, 2013 (Act 18 of 2013). Post updated accordingly)

In my blog post titled “Corporate Governance: Regulatory Frameworks under Consideration” I mentioned that some of the provisions related to corporate governance and voluntary guideline on corporate governance issued by Ministry of Corporate Governance has been incorporated into new Companies Bill, 2012 [now, the Companies Act, 2013]. In this post, I will examine these provisions and their effect on corporate governance.

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