The profession of accountancy and auditing throughout the world is regulated and licenses are granted by the Regulator/Sovereign to the auditors to ensure probity in financial statements. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is a statutory body set up in 1949 by an Act of Parliament to regulate the Profession of Chartered Accountancy in India.
In India, ICAI over the years has reinforced the role that the accountancy profession plays in providing high quality financial information, facilitating market discipline, and fostering confidence of various stakeholders by being a prudential Regulator. ICAI has been focusing on the intrinsic quality of Chartered Accountants through strong regimen of quality education & internationally benchmarked training, continuous professional development of members in niche & emerging areas. It has also been improving Quality of Financial Reporting and Assurance functions through strong framework of standard setting and enforcement.
Purpose of an independent audit is to provide confidence to the users of audited financial statements in the quality of financial reports, in particular their reliability. Improving audit quality and the consistency of audit execution is essential to maintain confidence in the independent assurance, provided by the auditors. It is trust that enables organisations to create long-term value and in developing confidence of external stakeholders on the users of financial information. There is no set definition of a quality audit, and many factors influence audit quality. As a result, judging audit quality can be challenging and subjective.
As a part of ICAI's drive to continue to benchmark the accountancy profession against the best available global practices, we have already converged to global standards on disclosure and assurance while keeping Indian interests in high stead.
In a recent major decision, the Institute has decided to open Centre for Audit Quality at ICAI's Centre of Excellence , Jaipur which would enable the Institute to make available conducive environment for research and develop a systematic audit quality framework.
CA. Atul Kumar Gupta, President, ICAI said 'The Centre for Audit Quality will aim at the continuous investment in the contemporary education and training for prospective accountants and auditors, developing guidance and training programmes to assist audit teams and offices to undertake effective root cause analysis, conducting group learning sessions to discuss identified causes of findings and the solutions to be implemented, establishing Audit Quality indicators, thus will work for Audit Quality Maturity Model.'
CA. Atul Kumar Gupta further added'India is on the cusp of a huge data revolution. It has become essential to advocate the position of the auditors to the various stakeholders to fill in the expectation gaps. In such changing times, a Centre for Audit quality can play an important role that would further build Investor's confidence and develop Public trust at large”.
The Centre of Quality will aim for:-
- To develop Framework for Audit Quality.
- To develop Audit Quality Maturity Model.
- To conduct contemporary Education and Training in area of audit and allied areas for continuous improvement of Audit Quality.
- To conduct CPD specialized training programmes for Professional Accountants to enable them to perform audit in full compliance with principles of Audit standards.
- To pursue Research and Innovation in area of audit for improving Audit Quality
- To deliberate on the experience of Audit Committees for improving Audit Quality
- To develop and promote Audit Quality Indicators
- To invest and enable access to cost effective Digital and online Resources for accountants /accounting firms for high Audit quality