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Measures initiated by ICAI for revisiting AS 11

Posted on 09 April 2009,    
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Measures initiated by ICAI for revisiting Accounting Standard (AS) 11, The Effects of Changes in Foreign Exchange Rates

CA. Uttam Prakash Agarwal, President, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) re-iterated the Institute's desire to work closely with Industry and Government in both framing and revising Accounting Standards. He briefly outlined the measures initiated by ICAI for revisiting Accounting Standard (AS) 11, The Effects of Changes in Foreign Exchange Rates.

Chronological order of discussions relating to Revision in Accounting Standard (AS) 11

Accounting Standards Board meeting (148) held on 1 February, 2009

A Working Group was set up for review of accounting treatment of monetary items under AS 11 on the matter being referred by National Advisory Committee on Accounting Standards (NACAS)

Working Group of meeting on AS 11 held on 16 February, 2009
- Discussed modalities for revision in accounting treatment.

Working Group meeting on AS 11 held on 2 March, 2009
- Discussed modalities for revision in accounting treatment.

Meeting at Ministry of Corporate Affairs Office on 4 March, 2009

There were discussions on various issues related to AS 11. The meeting was attended by President, Vice President and Director of the Institute. Mr. Jitesh Khoslas presence was requested at the Accounting Standards Board meeting the next day but he regretted his inability to attend due to other preoccupations.

Accounting Standards Board meeting (149) held on 5 March 2009

Two senior ministry officials were present at the meeting. Discussions on revision to AS 11 could not be concluded as two diverging views were there on the matter. Industry Representatives gave presentation to the Board on their views. The meeting decided to refer the matter to the Council with both points of view on the matter as in technical matters there was a convention of seeking unanimity.

Council Meeting held on 6,7 & 8 March 2009.

The item relating to revision of AS 11 for long-term monetary items was introduced as an additional agenda item in view of its importance to Industry and the need for providing clarity in accounting treatment for the year ended 31 March 2009. Joint Secretary, Government of India along with other government nominees were present and participating. On the question of a member of the Council as to whether the matter under consideration was of revision of the standard or a discussion on the pros and cons of revision Mr.Jitesh Khosla confirmed it was a process of discussion. The matter thereafter was on the council table for discussion. The council discussed the matter for over 2 1/2 hours as members had strong concerns on the gravity of revising the accounting standard.

As the matter warranted further deliberations to address the concerns of members it was decided that the matter would be referred back to the Accounting Standards Board. It was also decided that a process of discussion would be taken up with industry representatives in the presence of Mr.Jitesh Khosla and a tentative date of 18 March 2009 was fixed for a meeting at Mumbai.

As on that date,CII had organised a seminar on IFRS where President ICAI, Vice President ICAI and Mr.Jitesh Khosla Joint Secretary Government of India were speakers, as per advise of Mr.Jitesh Khosla, a meeting was held with a small group from CII. President ICAI after listening to the views of the group assured them that the matter would be taken up in the Council meeting to be held in April 2009.Proposed meeting with industry representatives scheduled for 18 March 2009 was subsequently cancelled.

National Advisory Committee on Accounting Standards (NACAS) meeting on 24 March, 2009.

The meeting was attended by President ICAI, Vice President ICAI, Chairman Accounting Standards Board ICAI. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India, Institute of Company Secretaries of India, ASSOCHAM, FICCI, and CII were present. Representatives from the Comptroller and Auditor Generals Office and the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta were also present. At the meeting only the matter relating to AS 11 was discussed.

CA. Uttam Prakash Agarwal, President Institute of Chartered Accountants of India explained all the steps taken by the Institute in this matter to arrive at a consensus decision. He also informed the meeting that there was a process involved both in the issuing of accounting standards as well as revising any standard. He stressed the need that the request of Industry for a revision to the accounting standard be examined in the context of the principles of consistency, prudence and going concern basis so that such action was in the best interest of all concerned. He also pointed out that fluctuation in foreign currency and volatility in foreign exchange markets were a given factor today. There was a mechanism of hedging against the risk of foreign currency fluctuation and it was in fact a failure of business houses decision-making process. He apprised Chairman NACAS of the various questions which had to be addressed such as whether this would require any amendment to the Companies Act as there was a contradiction between Schedule VI and AS? Whether this would amount to a deviation from IFRS? Are we going to defer convergence with IFRS? Whether the change will be specifically to the benefit of a group of people? Would this amount to distribution of losses? Is this an extraordinary circumstance? There has been a criticism that when it came to taking profits, Industry booked it, while when it comes to losses, Industry is approaching for changes. What are the hardships faced by the Industry? What is the impact on the share value? Is this going to be beneficial to the shareholders?

On the issue of certain comments made by Chairman NACAS on CNBC channel, President ICAI stressed that the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India had all along taken a very proactive role in the matter so that problems of industry could be resolved and that all the members of the Council were in support of the process initiated for the purpose of revision to the accounting standards.

About ICAI

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) set-up by an Act of Parliament viz. The Chartered Accountant Act, 1949 to regulate the profession of Chartered Accountancy is the second largest and prominent accounting body in the world. It has been taking various proactive measures from time to time, aligned with the changing facets of the Indian economy, for continuously raising the standard of quality of accounting and financial reporting. The quality of education and the standards of examination of the Institute are acknowledged to be the best in the world.

ICAI has its Headquarters at New Delhi with 5 Regional Offices at Mumbai, Chennai, Kanpur, Kolkata, New Delhi and 118 branches spread all over the country. In addition, it has also set up 21 chapters outside India and an office in Dubai. Currently over 4,50,000 students are pursuing the Chartered Accountancy course and the total membership of ICAI is more than 1,50,000


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