From CA Amresh Vashisht, Meerut page. Cut & paste here for the benefit of the readers
COUNCIL DECIDES ROAD MAP FOR CONCURRENT AUDITS.LETS HOPE SOME UNIFORMITY IN ALLOTMENTS.
Dear Colleagues In the preceding Central Council Meeting of the ICAI held on Nov. 20th and 21st , 2014, the Report of the Group on Equitable Audit Allotments, Mechanism to control Tendering System and Introduction of Ceiling on Number of Concurrent Audit of Banks was taken up for discussion and consideration. As the report is quite voluminous and due to paucity of time I made power point presentation with particular reference to recommendations of contents in the Report. The recommendations of the Report were as follows : RECOMMENDATIONS 1. Equitable audit allotments 1. Eligibility criteria of three years’ seniority in profession (in case of Bank Branch Auditors) may be reconsidered. 2. To find ways and means for reservation/preference to firms with less than 10/7 years standing in the profession or those with the annual turnover of less than Rs. 10 lakhs in stock and/or revenue audits and/or other assignments in banks. 3. To send a letter to all the banks under the signatures of the President informing that allotment should be strictly as per the pre-determined criteria and ICAI as a regulator is interested in ensuring that all allotments are done on the basis of an objective and decided criteria and to provide details of the allotments of branch statutory audit done. Moreover, as and when next allotment happens, in the interest of all the stakeholders and to ensure transparency in the matter, banks should be forthcoming with the requisite details like advances level of their branches, how the selection of branches (with advances level of less than Rs. 20 crore) has been done for audit, etc. 4. Institute should approach those entities where empanelments are not happening but ideally should happen including public authorities or entities in which funds of the government or semi-government organizations are employed substantially as the same is a public organization wherein substantial public interest is involved. 5. For other audits, to suggest all the government authorities, regulators, organizations to allot audits/assignments on empanelment basis. At the least, process and criteria of empanelment should be clearly specified and should be made available not only on the website of the Institute but also as and when the same is in progress, the same should be publicised through local newspapers also and the ultimate allotment should be done in a very transparent and objective manner. There should be conspicuous intimation to the chartered accountants about the empanelment taking place. 6. Strong and continuous liaison with different authorities/regulators empowered by various statutes to appoint auditors for various entities like Registrar of Co-operative Societies of various states for co-operative Societies of respective states, O/o C&AG for Government companies, Reserve Bank of India for banking companies etc. 7. To collect data from all the practicing firms in respect of their receipts from audit/accounting/tax audit/concurrent audit/management assignments/ any specific special assignment along with details of specialization of respective firms and their capacity i.e. staff strength, qualification and experience. 8. To know the actual number of members in practice and in industry, details may be called: - from the respective companies or - making it mandatory for all our members to inform the Institute - call for income-tax return from all the practicing members, as a one-time measure. 2. Development of Mechanism to control tendering system 1. Tendering should be discouraged in the exclusive areas of practice of our members like audit and attestation services. It was the unanimous view that tendering should not be allowed in such practice areas and group preferred to have norms in such areas, copy enclosed as Annexure M. 2. If we can prohibit / restrict members from responding to exclusive areas in respect of pure audit assignments and attestation services, that will be most ideal. 3. The members must adhere to the recommended scale of fees prescribed by the ICAI in the context of various professional assignments. To ensure such adherence, a member responding to a tender should be required to furnish to the ICAI’s specified website the maximum details about the estimated hours to be devoted by the partner/proprietor, paid CAs, other staff and the fees quoted in the tender. Such details will be furnished by the member within a period of seven days of his responding to the tender. If the member is successful in securing the tendered assignment, then the member will also furnish the actual hours devoted by the partner/proprietor, paid CAs and the staff. 4. A draft letter which may be considered to be sent to the members across the country requesting them to maintain cost sheet in the given format while submitting any tender/bid as discussed by the Group enclosed as Annexure K. 5. A draft letter which may be considered to be sent to the authorities/companies floating tenders for services of Chartered Accountants enclosed as Annexure L. 6. It should be made compulsory for the members to file an online copy of the bid submitted by them in response to any tender within 30 days with ICAI. The office should check whether recommended scale of fees has been followed or not in the bids. The purpose of calling such huge details from the members, method or structure required for the purpose and methodology should also be set so that there is no ambiguity at later stages. Any member who does not provide the information within the given time period may be referred to the Disciplinary Section. 3. Introduction of ceiling on number of concurrent audit of banks per firm 1. To write to all the banks, requesting them for details of allotment of concurrent audit for the year 2012-13 and to have an allotment policy be framed for concurrent audits and make it available on the bank’s website so that the whole procedure is transparent. 2. To make efforts and get smaller audits be reserved for smaller firms. 3. A proprietary concern be allowed to take up 1 bank branch concurrent audit at a time. However, if such proprietary concern has a full time paid CA. employee for a period of 12 months or more, immediately preceding the date of appointment as a concurrent auditor, then the proprietary concern be allowed to take one more branch concurrent audit per such paid CA. employee. However, at the time of renewal of a concurrent audit, the same criteria will be applicable as if it is a fresh audit. 4. In the cases of partnership firms, the firm be allowed to take one concurrent audit per 2 partners of firm and not more than five concurrent audits on overall basis. However, at the time of renewal of a concurrent audit, the same criteria will be applicable as if it is a fresh audit. 5. Council of the Institute should promulgate strong recommendation/guideline for concurrent audit limit like tax audit limit. The Council accepted all the above recommendations unanimously except the recommendations stated at serial nos. 1.2., 3.3. and 3.4 above. The said recommendations not accepted are reproduced once again below : 1.2. : To find ways and means for reservation/preference to firms with less than 10/7 years standing in the profession or those with the annual turnover of less than Rs. 10 lakhs in stock and/or revenue audits and/or other assignments in banks. 3.3. : A proprietary concern be allowed to take up 1 bank branch concurrent audit at a time. However, if such proprietary concern has a full time paid CA. employee for a period of 12 months or more, immediately preceding the date of appointment as a concurrent auditor, then the proprietary concern be allowed to take one more branch concurrent audit per such paid CA. employee. However, at the time of renewal of a concurrent audit, the same criteria will be applicable as if it is a fresh audit. 3.4. : In the cases of partnership firms, the firm be allowed to take one concurrent audit per 2 partners of firm and not more than five concurrent audits on overall basis. However, at the time of renewal of a concurrent audit, the same criteria will be applicable as if it is a fresh audit. On the recommendation at 1.2. not much discussion took place but members did not agree with any kind of reservation. On the recommendations at 3.3. and 3.4. about the ceiling on number of bank branch concurrent audits, there was a heated and charged up discussion as opinions on both the sides were expressed emphatically. At the end of the discussion, I sought a vote, against which frantic efforts were made as usual whenever voting is demanded by a council member to prevail upon me to leave my demand for voting. However, when insisted and persisted, the voting took place and by a majority of thin line the decision came that the placing a ceiling is a must but the ceiling will be worked out by the Council as against what is recommended by the Group. I hope the above information about the council proceedings will be helpful to the members.
With warm regards,
CCM CA. Tarun Ghia
tarunghiaca @ yahoo.co.in tarunghiaca @ gmail.com