Tag Archives: ICAI


My fellow members of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) may be going to a booth for voting while reading this post. Similarly, members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) just concluded their voting last week. These two elections are crucial for the future for these two eminent professions in India, which impact most on financial and non-financial reporting, disclosures and transparency in the working of Corporate India.  Admit or not, these two institutes are facing a crucial issue of survival.

National Financial Reporting Authority – NFRA is already here to oversee accounting standards, auditing standards and quality of services provided by Chartered Accountants. The law establishing the National Financial Reporting Authority – NFRA was incorporate in the statute by Man Mohan Singh Government. Soon thereafter, Chartered Accountants communities made its hue and cry about this law.  There was news of some success for them. Soon after demonetization, Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised a question on quality of services, ethics and values of Chartered Accountants in a much-hyped program organized by ICAI itself. Demonetization failure made it clear that Modi Government will enforce provisions given in the statute for the establishment of NFRA. Finally, it is enforced recently in a slight tone down version. This tone down is, unfortunately, not a face-saving for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. There is a reasonable apprehension that, irrespective of the party in power, there may be some efforts to extend the application of these provisions to other auditors like company secretaries. Soon to be elected councils of both institutes will certainly draw a plan to take on such an eventuality.

The second challenge for government and to some extent for these self-regulatory statutory institutes is to create completion in regulations and quality standards. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 created a super insolvency regulator the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India with three professional regulators competing with each other. There are suggestions to create such competing professional regulators for auditing bodies – Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Institute of Cost Accountants of India and Institute of Company Secretaries of India. Will NFRA be the super audit regulator or these three professional bodies be super-regulator for their specific domain? How will they deal with the challenge? Do their members care?

Another challenge is a proposal for a council with representation from all stakeholders (appointed by Government not just elected representatives of regulated professionals). Recently, the Medical Council of India saw drastic changes. Unfortunately, all self-regulatory statutory bodies BCI, MCI, ICAI, ICAI (CMA), ICSI and others have a poor record for their professional duty to regulate their respective profession. Their image is not of statutory regulatory bodies but of a trade union. This is at sharp contrast with other statutory regulatory bodies like Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) which regulates brokers, advisors and many other market professionals; Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) which regulates Actuaries, Undertakers and other insurance professionals; and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which regulators bankers and other financial advisors. The difference lies in their top management – their council or governing board. Will self-regulatory statutory bodies like ICAI and ICSI develop themselves as true professional regulators or be remain downgraded to be a trade union?

Recently, we saw these self-regulatory statutory bodies took advice from big and powerful advisory firms and companies. Some of these firms and companies have a multinational and national presence. Unfortunately, their powerhouses directly and indirectly influence councils of these self regulatory statutory bodies. This need urgent attention and introduction of organizational governance akin to corporate governance and independency norms.

Our major challenges are from inside but one growing challenge is to regulate multinational firms coming to India. India cannot stop them from coming under WTO regulation. We have one clue to govern them from IBBI regulations. We can ask foreign professional to be part of some firms which are governed under Indian regulations. I should clearly say Big – 4 should be governed by these self regulatory statutory bodies. If not, these self regulatory statutory bodies may be scrapped, sooner than later.

Is India prepared?



Employee’s welfare is also a matter corporate social responsibility for all body corporate. During debate on corporate social responsibilities we heard a lot from all quarters.

Principle 3 of National Voluntary Guideline on Social, Environment, & Economic Responsibilities of Business issued by Ministry of Corporate Affairs say, ”Businesses should promote the well being of all Employees.” On page 17 of this guideline, it is mentioned that “…strongly believe that addressing health issues significantly contributes to the sustainability of their business operations and especially the health and welfare of their employees.” There is separate guideline issued by Government for Central Public sector Enterprises.

As a stakeholder, we have interest in measures taken by professional bodies under Ministry of Corporate Affairs. It is noteworthy to note, these professional bodies are very instrumental to spread awareness about corporate social responsibilities on behalf of government. I filed applications under three professional bodies and asked same questions:

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

In my last blog post auditor under companies Act, 2013: from appointment to removal, I discussed auditor his appointment, remuneration resignation and removal along with other incidental matters. In this post I will discuss power, duties and penalties related to auditors and audit report.

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

Corporate Governance is a fundamental structure of all recent companies’ laws globally. True and fair Audits are core concern for corporate world and its regulators. While I was writing my earlier blog post “Footsteps of Corporate Governance in Companies Bill 2012 Companies Act, 2013”, I noticed that the Companies Bill, 2012 Act, 2013 has special concern for quality of audits. In my post “National Financial Reporting Authority” you may feel the depth of concern of our law makers about audits, which have already been forced accounting and auditing regulator, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, for introspection.

In this series of my blog post related to Companies Bill, 2012 Act, 2013; I am writing about provision relating to auditors. The manner of appointment of auditors may affect independence of audit. The bill Act addresses this issue very well.

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

One of the foremost step for improving corporate governance since birth of concept of corporate governance is improving quality of accounting and auditing of companies. Audit Committee is one of these measures, which has been taken to improve standard of financial reporting. But concerns related to quality of financial reporting are not new. We can trace these concerns in earlier legislation, all earlier versions of the Companies Act in general and the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949. Without going deep in these laws, we simply say; what was otherwise need to enact such Act to regulate a profession of accounting and auditing, standardizing whole process of accounting and auditing.

The National Financial Reporting Authority is a quasi – judicial body to regulate matters related to accounting and auditing. With increasing demand of non – financial reporting, I may safely predict, a National Business Reporting Authority to regulate standards of all kind of reporting, financial as well as non – financial, from companies in near future.

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Introducing: AishMGhrana Governance Professional

The Institute of Company Secretaries of India has its Continuing willingness to present itself as a world leader as professional body of Corporate Governance professionals. This is a welcome transformation of Company Secretary from a mere clerk to Corporate Governance professional. The ICSI said as a member of CSIA it will ask the World Trade Organization (WTO) to include corporate governance and related areas in its mode of business classification.

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