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Revised guidelines for articleship training abroad

Posted on 26 March 2015,    
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i. A Chartered Accountant is eligible to train an articled assistant provided his main occupation is the practice of the profession of Accountancy at the time of engaging articled assistants as well as in each of the qualifying years on the basis of which he claims eligibility to train articled assistants.

ii. Any member engaged in any other business, occupation or holding part time certificate of practice is not entitled to train articled assistant.

iii. Any member employed as a Paid Assistant or engaged as a partner in a foreign firm of Chartered Accountants will also be eligible to train articled assistants at par with the paid assistants with a firm of Chartered Accountants in India. All conditions applicable to the Paid Assistants in India would be applicable to them as well. However, in case of a foreign firm, such a foreign firm shall have at least one partner who is either a member of the Institute or who is eligible to become a member of the Institute, in terms of MRA.

Provided that every Chartered Accountant from ICAI who is registered as an auditor and obtained a license and registration number from the appropriate competent authority abroad to establish a professional firm and carry out the attest function and who meets the international/local experience and expertise criteria laid down by the law shall be eligible to train articled assistants as under:

Category  Period of continuous practice Entitlement of articled assistant
i An associate or fellow in continuous practice for a period up to 3 years 1
ii An associate or fellow in continuous practice for any period from 3 years to 5 years 2
iii An associate or fellow in continuous practice for any period from 5 years to 10 years 4
iv. An associate or fellow in continuous practice for any period from 10 years 5

It would also be essential for such member abroad to produce the copy of License and certificate of registration issued by the competent authority abroad to him as individual member and to the professional firm with whom he is affiliated to the Institute with current validity at the time of registration of articlehip.

Further where an Indian Chartered Accountant is working as paid assistant in a firm where there is no Indian CA as a partner such paid assistant shall not be entitled to train any articled assistant

iv. The members shall provide a professional address as envisaged in Regulation 2(1)(xiii) as well as an addressin India.

(As per the said Regulation, professional address means: -

a. an address of the place where the member is carrying on his profession ( or where he is carrying on his profession at more than one place, the principal place), or

b. if a member is employed, the place of employment or at his option the place of his residence

c. the place of residence, if the member neither carried on the profession nor is employed.

It may please be noted that an address in India is essential in any of the situation)

v. Since there is full time employment visa instead of Trainee Visa for students who wish to register their articleship with chartered accountants abroad according to the immigration laws of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries, so such employees shall be treated at par with the articled assistants registered in India. It would be essential for such articled assistants abroad to produce the copy of such visa and immigration details along with a copy of passport at the time of registration of articleship. The terms and conditions that may be made applicable for training articled assistant in India from time to time shall mutates mutandis apply for training of articled assistant abroad.

vi. The period of practical training shall be 3 years or 3 ½ years, as applicable, under a practising chartered accountant abroad. However, the articled / audit assistants should have an option to undergo industrial training in accordance with the Regulations 51 & 72 of the Chartered Accountants Regulations, 1988 during the last one year of training.

vii. The Industrial Training may be imparted by the Chartered Accountants working abroad in a financial, commercial or industrial undertaking with minimum fixed assets & minimum total turnover or minimum paid up capital as may be specified by the Council (whatever the value specified in terms of Indian currency may be deemed as applicable in foreign countries in their respective currencies) or such other organization or institution approved by the Council. In case of a member employed outside India, and eligible to impart Industrial training outside India, is unable to submit Annual Report/Balance sheet of the corporate/undertaking the member is working with, the member may submit a self declaration about the particulars of the undertaking alongwith the application.

viii. The terms & conditions contained in Regulation 54 and Regulation 54A dealing with secondment shall be applicable to the articled assistants receiving training abroad.

ix. The Principal shall send training reports as prescribed alongwith the service certificate to be issued in Form 109 & 108 as the case may be.

x. The principal shall impart training in accordance with the guidelines contained in Training Guide. He shall maintain a record of practical training imparted by him to the articled assistant and report to the Council in the form prescribed in the training guide.

xi. The rates, terms and conditions of stipend prescribed as payable to the articled assistants receiving training in India shall be applicable to the articled assistants receiving training aboard except that the same rate of stipend in equivalent terms specified in respective national currencies of the countries concerned instead of Indian rupees.

xii. Regulation of training in terms of office hours and working days holidays will be applicable as per local office timings and laws. However, requirements of total training hours will be the same as applicable in India, the terms of which are given hereunder: -

a.The working hours for the articled assistants shall be 35 hours in a week excluding the lunch break.

b.The office hours of the Principal for providing article training to the articled assistant shall not be generally before 9.00 a.m. or after 7.00 p.m.

c.The normal working hours for the articled assistant shall not start after 11.00 a.m. or end before 5.00 p.m.

d.The working hours for the articled assistants should not exceed 35 hours in a week excluding the lunch break and normally an articled assistant be required to work during the normal working hours fixed for articled assistants.

e.In case of exigencies of work with Principal, an article assistant may be required to work beyond his / her normal working hours. However, under such circumstances, the aggregate number of working hours shall not exceed 45 hours per week. The requirement to work beyond 35 hours in a week should not be a practice but only in exceptional circumstances.

Further, where the articled assistant is required to work beyond normal working hours, and aggregate of such hours exceed 35 hours per week, he / she shall be entitled to compensatory leave calculated with reference to number of completed working hours, over and above, 35 hours per week.

Further conduct of training will be regulated as per provisions of the relevant Regulations as follows: -

Regulation 60: Working hours of an Articled Assistant

“Subject to such directions as may be issued by the Council, the working hours of an articled assistant shall be 35 hours per week to be regulated by the Principal from time to time”.

Regulation 65: Articled assistant not to engage in any other occupation

“Without the previous permission of the Council, obtained on application made in the *approved form, no articled assistant shall, during the period of his service as an articled assistant, take any other course of study or training, whether academic or professional, or engage in any business or occupation.”

Regulation 66: Enquiries against articled assistant

“(1) Where a complaint or information of any misconduct or breach of Regulation 65 or breach of any of the covenants contained in the articles is received against an articled assistant from his principal or any other person, the President or the VicePresident as the Executive Committee may decide from time to time, may cause an investigation to be made

(2) The Executive Committee may, on a consideration of the report of the investigation and after giving the articled assistant an opportunity of being heard, make any of the following orders, namely;-

i. direct that the papers be filed and the complaint be dismissed, if the Executive Committee finds that the articled assistant is not guilty of any misconduct of breach of Regulation 65 or breach of any of the covenants contained in the articles; or

ii. if the articled assistant is found guilty, reprimand the articled assistant or cancel the registration of articles or direct that any period already served under such articles shall not be reckoned as service for the purpose of the period of practical training specified in Regulation 50.

(3) The articled assistant, the registration of whose articles has been cancelled under this regulation, shall not, except with the permission of the Executive Committee be retained or taken as an articled assistant or audit assistant by any member”.

Regulation 67: Complaint against the Principal

1) Where an articled assistant makes a complaint against his principal on a matter concerning his training as an articled assistant, the President or the Vice- President as the Executive Committee may decide from time to time, may cause an investigation to be made and submit a report to the Executive Committee.

2) The Executive Committee shall submit the report of the investigation to the Council with its recommendations.

3) The Council may, on a consideration of the report of the Executive Committee, pass such order as it may consider expedient, including an order withdrawing the entitlement of the principal to train one or more articled assistants either permanently or for a specified period:

4) The President or the Vice-President as the Executive Committee may decide from time to time, may, pending an investigation of the complaint, either terminate or suspend the articles and allow the articled assistant to be accepted as additional articled assistant by a member, notwithstanding anything contained in Regulation 43.

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