I remember these assignments had started in the year 1996 onwards.
At that time since it is a new area, there are few takers for accepting the concurrent audit of banks and the inspection & audit deptt, used to call us in their office and ask us to accept the branches nearer or convenient to us.
There were either no prescribed formats or if formats prescribed they contain very few items. Even numbers of pages were maximum 5.
The fees, I remember were around in the range of Rs.3000/- to Rs.5000/-.p.m.
No attendance restriction, no evaluation of auditors still con-current auditors were a respected class in the branch.
The discussions with branch staff, manager, and with higher authorities DGM in quarterly meeting were fruitful and live.
There were no threatening by the bank at any time for complaint to CA Institute, RBI, depanelment, or black list.
No provision payment was made for conveyance from to office to the branch as well as for visit to the borrowers.
In spite of all this, I remember, The reports, discussions are fruitful and helps the branches to take timely action in the areas covered and noticed by us. The managers use to say thanks to us for inefficiencies in the report.
Though, there were no prescribed formats, we use to add special items covered during the period over and above the minimum requirements. At times, these list of special items is double than the regular formats.
We use to visit units, with the branch staff, they don’t mind to take us with their conveyance for the visits. There were more than three to four visits in a month and the reports short formats with specific deficiencies were invariably submitted.
The work is well defined, and no additional certification, reports, etc were requested from the concurrent auditors, at that time the branch managers certification, reports etc were given more value than anybody else.
There was no provision for persistent irregularities, and once the branch forward the compliance the report is considered as closed. Each month has a fresh thinking and reporting with no undue weight age of persistent non-compliable irregularities.
IT was an audit with EXCEPTION.
We either not have to request for fees, the same will automatically paid on the very next day of submission of the reports. There was a feel in the branch that the fees in merge, in comparison to the services given, this is also a reason for respect we enjoyed in the branch.
There were no tendencies in finding out mistakes in auditors, their staff and report the more energy of the branch is invested in ratification than mistakes in reports. Whenever we were called in the quarterly or special meeting we were treated like guest of the bank and the DGM etc talk very respectfully to us. The whole discussions were devoted for better correction and compliance thought.
We use to enjoy this assignment and feel nervous when the term ends, we are not able to know how a year or two passed successfully in the branch.
The said exercise at time time is really FRUITFUL. and a enjoyable movement for us.
The days are passed and the same assignment has loose its importance and our interest and we feel it as burden better not accepted. NOW,
The following are examples of my experience of this assignment in last three years.
The con current auditor is most hated, neglected, person by the branch as well as higher authorities. He has been kept in the branch only to take all responsibility of wrong doings in the branch.
In one branch, when we use to ask for the details with branch manager, he always reply the details are known to a staff who is absent, he use to take another staff name when previous is present.
I heard managers saying, write the higher authorities about non compliance and also name and blame the con current auditors.
Instead we check their musters and records, they keep our attendance, and our muster is to be signed by the branch official.
The manager, ask us to give audit memo to the staff who had not given the details and action against the same will be taken and the auditors will be a management evidence for the staff who are not good books of the manager.
When we humbly informed the higher authorities that it is possible for us to give justice to an assignment allotted to us with a merge fees of Rs.8000/-, he told accept or refuse, there are other takers, no conditions are heard.
The expectation from the auditors is increased many fold with no propionate increase in fees and confidence level.
Now a days, the management ask all the work certification from the con current auditors and branch incumbent is happy as he is no more trusted by the management.
Instead of we the auditors review and evaluate the branch workings some of the banks ask the branches to review and evaluate the work of the auditors before recommendation payment of fees.
The fees is not automatic event as earlier, to get the fees the persistent follow-up is needed. More time is devoted in follow-up for fees and branch reports than main function of audit.
The discussions in the branches now more on how to avoid to give information to auditors and passing the buck.
Some of the banks, tries to give some incentives to the auditors on the basis of shortage in the revenue detected, the incentive is based on a very lengthy formula, the auditors are simply not feel interested in it. I don’t know if anybody is given a incentive.
The unit visit is auditors need and not the branch. the auditors has to persistently follow up, requests, for unit visit, if his luck is good and the branch has mercy the visit is arranged for auditors.
In all the quarterly meetings barring few exception, we are told that, the banks are spending so much amount on this exercise of concurrent audit however, the auditors are not working properly and below par. We are always told that, the banks inspection dep't staff is far more efficient than the concurrent auditors. I always surprise then why we are needed, only for to be neglected. In all such meeting I feel head down like a goat for sacrifice being a auditors.
It seems the assignment has loose all its teeth and formerly reutilized. We now think BETTER TO REFUSE THAN ACCEPT ON BRANCH TO BRANCH BASIS WITH PRIOR VISIT TO THE BRANCH.
This is a good example, How the rules and laws loose its aim, the outer box of the gift is remembered and weighted more than the gift. Hope the older days will back.
CA Satish Badve