This recommended scale of fees declared for Chartered Accountants came out with revisions. Since it is a recommended measure neither the appointee who hires the services of chartered accountant nor the persons who get hired have major say in this issue. Still, it only helps in satisfaction of the mind of the CA by considering that, I have rendered the services of this specific value. Very few times it has happened, during my tenure of practice that we have been fees which are equivalent to the recommended scales. The majority of time banks, institutions have their own scale of fees for the particular assignment which was mentioned in the appointment letter, though the expectation of the involvement in the assignment is very high. The scale of fees decided by them has no match with the recommended scale of fees of the ICAI and the involvement of the CA in the assignment. Even some of them required a number of days the CA should attain the office compulsory for the assignment. If such is a scenario, what is the solution?
I have some suggestions for the betterment of the CA, these are enumerated as follows:
1. To discuss and pursue the banks and institutions:
The ICAI should ask the banks and Institutions who are fixing their own scale of fees for the particular assignments to arrive at minimum working hours they expect a CA should give for the assignment and the fees should be as per the recommended scale of fees per hour for CA as well as qualified, semi-qualified staff etc. The ICAI will able to do the same as they have done on many occasions like the Concurrent audit will be given to only those who have completed a course on concurrent audit or allotment of the branches on the basis of RBI category of the Firms, and DISA member is must for the firm to have some assignment, and so on. So this also is very much possible.
2. To draw a demarcation of those paying as per recommended fees and those less:
There should be pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages of paying or not paying as per the recommended fees. Unless there are some disadvantages or cons for non paying recommended fees nobody will pay. This can at least be done for Banks and Institutions, PSU, and big corporate leaving the individual to individual practice in the beginning. These banks and institutions may have regular interaction about who is paying what but no interaction for why less.
3. Honorable members CA are always Dharmraj as they are trained by Highest Guru ICAI:
The members are always rendering the best possible professional services once the appointment is accepted. Whether the same having minimum recommended scale of fees or less. They always try to do their best to keep the ICAI flag flay at the top. This may be they have very little choice, they have to prove themselves or they have to save themselves. As such services rendered are at the same level as much as possible. This does not affect in any way to the appointee.
4. Responsibility of the CA has increased many folds:
There is a tendency to held CA as responsible for anything wrong happens in the Institution he audit or carry out any assignment. If anything goes wrong the first question is asked what the CA is doing. Till today I have not heard anybody saying is CA being reasonably paid as per recommended fees. Has anybody asked is it possible for him to carry out the work expected from him in the fees paid. Though this may not be excuse, but is it not the responsibility to look after him. It is very easy to say if he is not satisfied he should have not accepted the assignment but very difficult to be done otherwise there will be no takers for any concurrent audit of the banks since it has came in 1996. Has any time bank says, their profits are increased or NPA down because of con current audit and hence all the auditors will be rewarded with a certificate if not the additional fees.
5. Auditee acting as Consumer:
Now a day the auditees are acting as a consumer and want all the protections for anything happened to him because of the services rendered by the professional. If it is so, then, unless a full fee is paid as per the recommended scale of fees declare by the ICAI.This so-called consumer should be made aware that, they have a responsibility to pay as per the ICAI scales.
Their problems can be only addressed if the recommended fees as per ICAI scales are paid for the services.
6. Formation of committee and declaration :
I recommend that a committee be formed to ascertain the scale of fees decided by the banks, PSU and other Institutions. This committee will study the fees fixed for the particular assignment and involvement of a number of hours of CA, and his staff in the said assignment, they also calculate the minimum fees as per the ICAI recommendation and Fees fixed by the Institution. The results of the same are declared every year. This will ensure to know the society at large, that the Honorable members of the ICAI are rendering the best of their services at what fees. At least this will boost the image of the CA in the society. This Minimum Recommended Scale of Fees should be publishing in the newspapers at least twice in a year for the society.
I only wish that the declaration of recommended minimum scale of fees have highest weight in the society at large.