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ICAI President emphasizes embracing technology for competitive edge

Last updated: 01 June 2023

Dear Professional Colleagues,

"Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives — choice, not chance, determines your destiny." - Aristotle

The reputation carved by the profession over the years was not a stroke of luck but a result of a deliberated and concerted efforts as partner in nation building, continuous initiatives in national interest, and an approach towards mandating quality through continuously augmenting standards and fi nancial reporting practices. The institute's commitment to independence, integrity, and excellence has been instrumental in shaping its distinguished reputation. The profession has been persistently passionate about precision and has been steadfastly introducing the best global practices in the country and upskilling its members to meet the demands of technology and sustainability. Amidst, the changing order it's assurance standards and audit quality that provide clarity between chaos across the fi nancial value reporting chain and supporting create value and trust in the long-term.

While we are discussing the profession's ability to discern and adept, the technology is challenging the acumen of all professionals. The evolving Artifi cial intelligence (AI) paradigm is nudging the accounting profession to readapt itself and move towards specialization and tasks involving more objectivity, cognitive ability, and behavioural skills to be relevant. It is also important to understand embracing Artifi cial intelligence as a partner and explore its potential to expand our ability, while in no sense it is a threat as an auditor's irreplaceability stems from their experiential knowledge, capacity to employ professional skepticism, and profi ciency in making the most appropriate professional judgments during audits, qualities that no machine, process, or system can replicate in this era of commonly available AI tools. I would urge all of you to make technology your best friend for life and derive competitive advantage.

Let the current challenging conditions serve as a catalyst for our profession's growth, rather than a deterrent. It is imperative for both the Institute and its members to adapt and innovate in order to navigate the emerging realities successfully. By doing so, we can uphold the profession's competitive advantage, which has been built over a period of more than seven decades and serving as a role model within society.

ICAI President emphasizes embracing technology for competitive edge

Let's have a look at some of the significant developments related to the profession:

Interactive Meeting with the Hon'ble Prime Minister

Recently I had the privilege to meet our Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in an interactive meeting convened at IFSCA GIFT City on 12th May, 2023 with the stakeholders and market participants to collaborate and work together in developing GIFT City as Global Financial Hub. During the meeting, the ICAI assured its support and made various suggestions on promoting export of services and establishing India as a preferred destination globally for Accounting and Financial services. I briefed Hon'ble PM about the role ICAI has been playing in the areas of strengthening MSME ecosystem, Financial and Tax Literacy, training of GST Offi cials in states etc.

Expanding ICAI Network & Outreach

The ICAI branches are of signifi cant importance as they provide a localized presence, promote knowledge sharing & professional growth, and foster networking opportunities. They are instrumental in realizing ICAI's objectives and ensuring the overall development and welfare of the accounting profession in India.

I am pleased to inform you that recently we have inaugurated two branches of the Central India Regional Council (CIRC) in Bhagalpur (Bihar) and Hanumangarh District (Rajasthan) as approved by the Council. Now we have 168 branches in our national network. Further, our fi rst Career Counselling Center was opened at Jorhat, Assam on 27th April, 2023. The opening of the Career Counselling Center will give good visibility and enhance the branding of ICAI besides popularizing the CA Course and providing career guidance to students.

Profession Going Global - International Engagements

ICAI Global Professional Accountants Convention" (GloPAC) on the theme- "Connecting the Globe, Creating Value" on November 24-26, 2023

As you are aware that ICAI is organizing its fi rst ever "Global Professional Accountants Convention" (GloPAC), on the theme "Connecting the Globe, Creating Value" on November 24-26, 2023. GloPAC is being organised as a mega event to showcase the important role that the accountancy profession has been playing in the economic and social development of the country. Whether you're an SMP, or working in an Industry, GloPAC would provide a unique opportunity to network and collaborate with like-minded professionals for your growth. We, at ICAI, look forward to your participation in large numbers and avail yourself an opportunity to network with the global peers.

Africa Congress of Accountants (ACOA) Abidjan, Ivory Coast

ICAI has been a Affi liate member of Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA) in a bid to expand its global outreach and enhance Brand ‘CA India' in Africa region. In order to strengthen the ties, we associated with the 7th Africa Congress of Accountants (ACOA), a premier event of the Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA) held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast from 15th to 18th May 2023. More than 2000 delegates from 54 countries attended the Congress where Myself, CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal, Vice President ICAI, CA. (Dr.) Debashis Mitra, Immediate Past President ICAI and CA. Sridhar Muppala, Council Member ICAI addressed in various sessions.

We had the privilege to meet Hon'ble Mr. Patrick Achi, Prime Minister of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire where he welcomed ICAI to the Africa Congress and expressed his pleasure for supporting the Congress. To add to the glory, Hon'ble Mr. Adama Coulibaly, Minister of Finance and Economic affairs, during his address acknowledged the signifi cant contribution of ICAI in making the Congress successful. Also ICAI had the opportunity to exhibit the largest pavilion in ACOA wherein the latest initiatives of ICAI were displayed and appreciated by the delegates.

During the sidelines of the ACOA, meetings were held with various accounting bodies to discuss areas of mutual co-operation. We also met with Mr. N'Guessan Koffi , Minister of Technical Education, Vocational Training and Apprenticeship, Ivory Coast, and discussed about the education systems in Ivory Coast and offered ICAI's assistance in the developing their course curriculum.

Cabinet approval of MoU between ICAI and CA Maldives

I am happy to inform that the Union Cabinet chaired by Hon'ble Prime Minister of India has approved the Memorandum of Understanding between Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and The Chartered Accountants of the Maldives (CA Maldives). The MoU aims to establish mutual co-operation for the advancement of Accounting Knowledge, Professional and Intellectual Development, Advancing the interests of respective members of each institute and positively contributing to the development of the Accounting Profession in Maldives and India.

ASEAN Federation of Accountants (AFA Strategy) and Council Meeting

CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal, Vice President ICAI and CA. Piyush Chhajed, Central Council Member, ICAI attended AFA Strategic Meeting and AFA Council Meeting held from 29-30 April, 2023. The meeting provided an opportunity to understand emerging areas in the accounting arena in ASEAN region and also to establish business or research relations with PAO's there.

During the visit, Vice President ICAI also met with Shri Nagesh Singh, Hon'ble Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of Thailand.

ICAI Delegation to Estonia and Netherlands

ICAI, in response to an invitation from the Estonia Embassy in India, has organized a delegation tour to Estonia and the Netherlands from 23rd to 29th, May, 2023, which is being facilitated by the Committee for Development of International trade, Services and WTO (CDITSWTO) of ICAI. The delegation aimed to explore investment opportunity in Estonia through Latitude59 (the fl agship programme of Startups in Estonia) and Netherlands to showcase strength of Indian accounting professionals in cross border investments, M&A, mentoring startups & advising the corporate in the areas of taxation, law and other related compliances.

Visit to Dubai

Myself and CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal, Vice President, ICAI had a virtual meeting with ICAI Dubai and Abu Dhabi Chapters on 21st May, 2023 to discuss crucial matter pertaining to Audit License Examination Exemptions. In pursuance thereof, VicePresident ICAI visited Abu Dhabi to represent the matter of inclusion of ICAI for Audit License Examination Exemptions at par with other six listed institutes and in this regard met with Mr. Abdullah Al Hammadi, Director, Auditors Department, Ministry of Economy, UAE, His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Cabinet Member and the Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and H.E. Shri Sunjay Sudhir, Hon'ble Ambassador of India to UAE for favourable consideration of the aforesaid recognition.

Meeting with Stakeholder

Meeting with Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG)

As an institute and a profession, we actively seek to learn from stakeholders, working in close partnership with them to drive the agenda of national development. During this period, Myself and CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal, Vice President, ICAI alongwith CA. Kemisha Soni, Central Council Member met Shri Girish Chandra Murmu, Hon'ble CAG on 19th May, 2023. During the meeting discussions were held on strengthening accounting and auditing practices in Urban and Rural local bodies in India

Meeting with Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy

Also, CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal, Vice President, ICAI alongwith ICAI Central Council Members CA. Pramod Jain & CA. Vishal Doshi and Government Nominee Shri Manoj Pandey, IAS, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs met Shri R. K. Singh, Hon'ble Union Minister of Power & New & Renewable Energy alongwith Shri Alok Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Power and New & Renewable Energy on May 12th, 2023

Meeting with New Law and Justice Minister

I alongwith CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal Vice President, ICAI & CA.(Dr.) Debashis Mitra, Immediate Past President, ICAI met Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Hon'ble Minister of State (I/C) Ministry of Law and Justice and MoS for Parliamentary Affairs & Culture and extended warm wishes to him for his new profile.

ICAI Startup Sphere

ICAI has been actively involved in promoting and supporting startups, recognizing their importance in driving innovation, economic growth, and job creation. The institute understands the unique challenges faced by startups and has taken several initiatives to assist and nurture their growth. In this regard, the ICAI is organising an important event ICAI Startup Sphere from 27-28 June, 2023 in Mumbai which aims to support and foster the growth of startups, thereby contributing to the development of a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country.

Expert Panel - Strengthening the Commitment to Quality

The business landscape is evolving at a rapid pace, characterized by the emergence of new-age companies, and an interplay of regulatory and reporting requirements. In this environment of rising expectations from auditors, the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AASB) of ICAI has undertaken the task of providing essential assistance to practicing members in enhancing audit quality for the Statutory Audit of Entities, particularly by addressing pertinent auditing aspects. To this end, an Expert Panel has been established to offer technical support and address members' queries on auditing matters until September 30, 2023.

ICAI RVO Foundation Day

The 5th Foundation Day Conference of ICAI Registered Valuers Organisation on the theme ‘Sustaining Public Interest through Valuation Ecosystem', was organized in collaboration with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India in Delhi on 14th-15th May, 2023. Hon'ble Mr. Justice (Retd.) Arjan Kumar Sikri, Supreme Court of India, was the Chief Guest and I alongwith CA. Ranjeet Kumar, Vice President, ICAI addressed the Conference virtually. The event witnessed the participation from the International Valuation Standards Council (Singapore), Nepal Valuers Association and Valuation Standards Development Committee (Indonesia).

Fostering Excellence in Research & Financial Reporting

ICAI International Research Awards

Our profession is driven by knowledge. Therefore, since 2020, the Research Committee of the ICAI has been organising the "ICAI International Research Awards" to recognise the research community across the globe and their contribution in fostering innovation and value creation. The previous edition was a huge success with total 148 nominations being received from 18 different countries. The entries for this year awards can be submitted by 30th June, 2023. Members with an inclination towards research should take benefit of this opportunity.

ICAI Awards for Excellence in Financial Reporting 2022-23

Since its establishment in 1949, the ICAI has been unwavering in its dedication to the advancement and fortification of India's financial reporting systems while promoting the adoption of best reporting practices. In pursuit of this objective, the ICAI has been organizing these prestigious awards since 1958. We are delighted to announce the "ICAI Awards for Excellence in Financial Reporting 2022-23" upholding the tradition of recognizing and honoring outstanding organizations across various categories. The deadline for submitting applications for this year is 15th October, 2023.

Some Important Recent Council Decisions

You will be pleased to know that in a major students friendly decision and with our focus to provide qualitative education to our students, the Council decided to open additional reading rooms in all major districts of the Country and a policy in this regard has been approved. Further, it was decided that December, 2023 CA Foundation Examination would be held under the Existing Scheme of Education and Training as we are waiting approval on New Scheme.

The Council has also approved renewal of MoU/ MRAs with CPA Canada, CPA Ireland, South Africa Institute of Chartered Accountants(SAICA), Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance(BIBF), National Board of Accounting and Auditors (NBAA) and Qatar Financial Centre Authority. In its pursuit of enhancing the profession's global presence it was decided to open two new representative offices in USA namely Kansas and Philadelphia


As we approach CA Day on July 1, wherein ICAI enters into 75th year of excellent services to the nation, I warmly invite your suggestions on how we can celebrate this day in a manner that is both socially and professionally significant. The New Parliament House is inaugurated, it represents innovative approaches essential for establishing fresh paradigms. As our ICAI is formed by an act of Parliament, let's set new goals, forge new paths with a renewed perspective for the profession and build the New AatmaNirbhar India in the Amrit Kaal.

The progress of our profession signifies that the strategies that stand the test of time are those grounded in present commitments and aligned with future needs. It is essential for us to maintain a broad perspective, define our professional objectives accordingly, and remain resilient, adaptable, and agile in order to retain our competitive advantage in the ever-changing landscape.

As I conclude, am reminded of the thoughts of our former President of India, Dr. APJ Kalam:

‘End is not the end, in fact END means "Effort Never Dies" – If you get No as an answer, remember NO means "Next Opportunity". So let's be positive'

Jai Hind, Jai ICAI!

CA. Aniket Sunil Talati
President, ICAI

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