Accounting regulator ICAI has started working with investigating agencies under the home ministry and the finance ministry to help them track down the flow of unaccounted money in the economy.
The idea is to share with agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Financial Intelligence Unit in the finance ministry the questionable aspects of financial statements that statutory auditing professionals come across while scrutinising the records of companies. Based on the leads given by the accounting regulator, these agencies would be able to further investigate and unearth white-collar crimes and money laundering. The co-ordination between the government and the ICAI to raise regulatory oversight on the accounts of companies and financial institutions comes in the backdrop of the ongoing terror trail in the country.
The accounting regulator's oversight committee also randomly selects the financial statements of companies which are in the public domain to see if there is any discrepancy. In case of doctoring such records, ICAI takes action against the professional who endorsed the financial statement.
The regulator's wealth of information would now be helpful for the investigative agencies. Officials in ICAI have confirmed that it is closely working with the CBI. While the regulator is tight-lipped about its methodology of work, it is understood that it would increase its scrutiny during its auditing of financial accounts of companies.
Sources said the move is aimed at keeping a track on the way money flows in and out of a concern, and passing on information about suspicious fund movements to the intelligence organs dealing in financial crimes.
It is believed in government circles that its investigating network would get a fillip if ICAI pitches in with key inputs on discrepancies in financial statements. Money laundering is a practice wherein the source and destination of financial transactions are concealed to assist the monetary needs of an underground economy. The government believes that chartered accountants' expertise in auditing and internal controls would be of great use. ET