As one of the prominent accounting bodies worldwide, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has achieved recognition for its contribution in the fields of education, professional development, maintenance of high accounting, auditing and ethical standards.
Starting with a handful of about 1700 members, today, the strength of Chartered Accountant fraternity has grown to over 2.45 lakh members. On the education front, the ICAI began with mere 259 students and today more than 8.75 lakh active students are a part of ICAI. The ICAI has 5 Regional offices and 153 branches all across the country. The ICAI overseas Chapters continue to spearhead ICAI work program in 27 important jurisdictions globally.
Companies Act and Companies Law Committee Report
In view of difficulties in smooth implementation of the Companies Act 2013, ICAI is regularly making representations on the issues in the Companies Act 2013 related to the profession. ICAI representations have inspired some of the amendments in the Act such as in Reporting on Fraud by Auditors wherein enabling provisions have been prescribed for thresholds for reporting by auditor to the Central Government.
The Govt. of India constituted The Companies Law Committee (CLC) in June 2015 for making recommendations on the issues arising out of implementation of the Companies Act 2013.
- The Committee submitted its Report to the Government on 1st February 2016.
- ICAI had also submitted its suggestions to the Committee.
- There are several positive developments particularly on Accounts, Audit & Auditors.
ICAI Acts on SEBI Request over Ind AS Implementation Issues
In response to the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) request to provide suggestions on issues arising out of Ind AS implementation, ICAI has sent the draft of the format for quarterly financial results as prescribed under Clause 41 of Listing Agreement to SEBI. ICAI has also made recommendations to SEBI regarding modifications required in the SEBI’s Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements (ICDR) related to financial statements as a result of Ind AS implementation.
New Window of Opportunity for CAs
Opening yet another window of professional opportunity for CAs, the Delhi Assembly has recently passed Delhi School (Verification of Accounts and Refund of Excess Fee) Bill, 2015 besides two other related bills to bring a major reform in education system by amending the 42-year-old Delhi School Education Act, 1973. The Bill will regulate and refund excess fees in private institutions and is aimed at ensuring that private schools show greater accountability in fees accepted and money spent. The State Government will now form a committee which will get accounts of private schools audited through Chartered Accountants. This Bill will achieve its objectives for the good of Delhi education system.
Curbing the Black Money Menace: New Certificate Course
To curb the generation of black money in various sectors, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Ministry of Finance, Government of India decided to go all out and conduct workshops which were organized by ICAI to clarify doubts of the assesses regarding scope, procedures etc. of the new legislation namely Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015.
As part of its efforts to help Government initiatives to curb the generation of the black money and closely work to achieve the objective of Prevention of Money Laundering, ICAI has launched a 6 days Certificate Course on Anti Money Laundering Laws (Anti- Money Laundering Specialist). The objective of the course is to equip CA members in this field with the necessary expertise. Experts from the Enforcement Directorate, Financial Intelligence Unit of India and other regulatory and investigation organizations have been invited to address the members during the Course.
Accounting Reforms in Indian Railways
ICAI has been extending its technical and infrastructural support towards the accounting reforms of various Government offices i.e. moving from cash to accrual system of accounting, after assessing the tremendous positive impact on national financial reporting. The Indian Railway approached ICAI to undertake the pilot study project on “Study of existing Budgeting and Costing System and proposal for Outcome Budgeting and Integrated Cost Accounting Architecture in the line of Indian Budget Announcement 2015-16”. ICAI has undertaken the job & a Concept Paper on Outcome Budgeting has been submitted to the Railway Authorities. The Indian Railway has hosted the Concept Paper on their website for comments.
This is a step forward from Accrual system of accounting. It is a Pilot Project that aims at analyzing the costs & arriving at concrete & scientific data. This would help in better analysis & taking informed decisions.
Pilot Study Project with Coal India Limited, Kolkata (CIL) of Ministry of Power
ICAI has recently undertaken the Pilot Study Project of “Review of the Capital Expenditure (Capex) Procurement Process and Policy Compliances Framework” on pro-bono basis of Coal India Limited, Kolkata (CIL) of Ministry of Power. On the basis of the information provided, the road map for the assignment has been chalked out. This Project will study the compliance framework, Procurement process & policy and will help in identifying the shortcomings & suggesting the remedial measures.
Pilot Study Project for Power Finance Corporation Ltd.
ICAI has recently undertaken the Pilot Study Project on "Strengthening Compliance Framework" for Power Finance Corporation Ltd. and its three subsidiaries.
Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM)
ICAI has received the letter of Assignment and Commencement for the Project on “Review and Strengthening of Accrual Accounting System and Designing of a Sustainable Audit Management” for MCGM.
Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO)
ICAI has also taken up the project on “Migration Strategy for Implementation of Accrual Accounting System in EPFO”. The draft report has been submitted.
Indian Accounting Standards converged with IFRS
ICAI has played a very important role in taking Indian financial reporting system to newer heights and achieving international benchmarks by taking necessary initiatives from time to time. Continuing with this endeavour, convergence with IFRS had been decided.
- Subsequent to the Budget statement of the Hon’ble Finance Minister to implement the IFRS-converged Ind AS on voluntary basis from 1st April, 2015 and on mandatory basis from 1st April, 2016 in a phased manner, the ICAI was able to update the complete set of Ind AS in a short span of time. The ICAI had completed the process of formulating the IFRS-converged Ind AS in a time bound manner. The due process was rigorously followed and after extensive discussion and deliberations, these standards were finalized.
- The ICAI submitted these IFRS-converged Ind AS to NACAS. After recommendation of the NACAS, these Ind AS have been notified by the MCA as the Companies (Indian Accounting Standards Rules), 2015 vide Notification dated February 16, 2015. With the hosting of all these standards on the website of the MCA, the entire process has been completed in record time of less than 6 months.
This technical contribution of ICAI is a testimony of what the profession can collectively contribute towards the growth and progress of the country.
The Government had earlier also virtually accepted ICAI recommendations with regard to the roadmap for implementation of Indian Accounting Standards (Ind AS) for companies other than banking companies, insurance companies and NBFCs.
The ICAI had recommended the revised roadmap to the MCA in August 2014. As per the corporate roadmap, in the initial phase of Ind AS becoming mandatory from 1st April, 2016 about 1000 listed/unlisted companies are expected to implement the Ind AS. This number is likely to increase next year as all remaining listed companies and unlisted companies having networth of more than Rs. 250 crores will get covered in the next year.
- On January 18, 2016, the MCA released a Press Note for implementation of Ind AS by Banks, Insurance Companies and NBFCs. As per the Press Note, Ind AS implementation is mandatory from 1st April, 2018 for Banks and Insurance Companies. For NBFCs, implementation shall be in two phases, viz., from 1st April 2018 for NBFCs having net worth of Rs.500 crore or more and 1st April 2019 for all remaining listed NBFCs and unlisted NBFCs having net worth of Rs.250 crore or more. Accordingly, over the next few years more and more entities will apply Ind AS with a view to bring their financial statements at the international level.
To be effective, the Ind AS have to be implemented in the same way as they are implemented internationally. Since the Ind AS require generation of new type of financial information which is to be reported in the Ind AS-compliant financial statements, the systems of the companies need to be upgraded to generate such information.
- With a view to provide fast-track guidance to preparers, auditors and other stakeholders in effectively implementing the Ind AS, the ICAI has recently constituted Ind AS Transition Facilitation Group (ITFG). This Group would provide clarification on transitional issues in application/ implementation of Ind AS referred to it by various stakeholders. On Feb 11, 2016, the ITFG has issued the first batch of clarifications in its ‘ITFG Clarification Bulletin 1’. Going forward, the ITFG is expected to issue more Bulletins as and when it issues clarifications.
Further, not only the professionals involved in the preparation of financial statements as per Ind AS need to have the necessary skill-sets to implement the Ind AS as these require judgment and estimates to be made which were hitherto not required, but auditors also need to upgrade their skills in this regard.
- The ICAI, through its Certificate course on IFRS, has already trained approximately 6600 number of professionals. Going forward, the ICAI has geared up its capacity building endeavours in a focused manner. In this direction, the ICAI is conducting chain seminars throughout the country with a view to develop the necessary skills and knowledge for smooth and effective implementation of the Ind AS.
- The ICAI is also working to bring out Educational Materials on all the Ind AS. The ICAI has recently brought out Educational Materials on Ind AS 101, First-time Adoption of Indian Accounting Standards and Ind AS 10, Events After the Reporting Period. The ICAI is also working to revise its earlier issued Educational Materials formulated on the basis Ind AS notified in 2011 and the same are expected to be issued shortly. The ICAI also plans to launch the Ind AS in the electronic form so that the professionals and others concerned may use the contents of the Ind AS in a more effective manner.
The ICAI has accordingly geared itself on long-term basis to meet the challenges in the implementation of IFRS.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan
Hon'ble Prime Minister had nominated ICAI for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. Under this banner, Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyaan had been launched to provide separate toilets for boys and girls in all the Govt. schools throughout the country. The construction of new toilets as well as repairs of dysfunctional toilets has been undertaken by the Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs) governed by the Ministry of Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy (MoP) and will spend their CSR funds for construction/repair of the said toilets in schools that are having in-adequate toilets.
It has been desired by MoP that the physical outcome of such activities be suitably verified and the services of the Chartered Accountants be availed for this purpose on a pro bono basis. In view of this, ICAI had made an announcement to this effect to its members inviting them to confirm their interest in supporting the aforesaid initiative.
As of date, around 773 members have expressed their interest and confirmed their commitment to the Institute. 116 appointment letters have been issued by the concerned Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs) and 767 toilet blocks are under verification across the country. 699 reports have been received till date.
e-Hearing of ICAI Disciplinary Cases
As part of ICAI’s continuous drive to uphold the credibility, integrity and image of the accountancy profession in India, the regulatory mechanism of ICAI is working assiduously. Disciplinary Directorate of ICAI has been taking disciplinary action against its errant members as per the provisions of the Chartered Accountants (Amendment) Act, 2006 and Rules framed there under.
The technology is aiding all spheres of life. Overcoming the need for physical presence, e-benches have been set up by some of the courts and tribunals where involved parties join and appear from different cities using video conferencing. Following the example, ICAI has also decided to initiate e-hearing for its disciplinary cases very soon. This initiative would help in effective hearing and disposal of disciplinary cases in the Institute across the country reducing the overall cost and time for all concerned.
ICAI has a strong disciplinary mechanism wherein proceedings are initiated and taken to their logical end through a well-defined procedure which maintains the interests of natural justice while ensuring that the guilty are never spared. While law takes its own course, ICAI is committed to ensure justice in all disciplinary cases and thereby upholding the values of Excellence, Independence and Integrity which form the benchmarks of the profession.
Setting up of ICAI Chapter at Auckland and RAK UAE
To establish the footprints and marks of excellence of the Indian CAs across the globe through a strong network of foreign chapters, which presently have more than 12,000 members in their fold, ICAI has established 27 overseas chapters. These chapters prove to be immensely useful for Indian CAs in the region and would network with the members of Accounting Institutes.
ICAI would soon be inaugurating another overseas chapter in RAK UAE.
ICAI-ICPAI Joint Efforts and Professional Opportunities
ICAI in partnership with the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (ICPAI) has launched a new Programme to enable the members to access career opportunities across Ireland. ICAI regularly conducts different Placement Programmes for the newly qualified and experienced Chartered Accountants. This is another endeavour to provide the members an opportunity to work abroad. This programme would enable ICAI members to access career opportunities in Ireland.
1163 members had registered for availing the benefits of this programme. ICAI also endeavors to organise more such programmes in other countries as well. 738 members have been shortlisted in the first level. The quality of the members has been highly appreciated by the prospective Irish employers.
Campus Placement Programme: Campus Placement Programme provides an opportunity to the employers to interact with newly qualified Chartered Accountants peruse their particulars and recruit the suitable candidate in their organizations. The Placement programme is organized twice in a year in the months of Feb – March & August – September.
Campus Placement Programme, February- March, 2016
ICAI is organizing Campus Placement February- March 2016 at 22 centres across the country in two phases.
- In first phase, campus interviews are being conducted at 15 smaller centers namely Baroda, Coimbatore, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Kanpur, Thane, Durgapur, Ernakulam, Indore, Jaipur, Vasai, Ahmedabad, Navi Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur during February 2016.
- In second phase, campus interviews shall be conducted at 6 bigger centers namely Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi during March 2016.
Till date, 5961 candidates have registered for the programme and 100 companies are participating in the programme.
Campus Placement Programme, August-September, 2015 was organized at 19 centers
- The Highest salary offered for Domestic posting was Rs. 21 lacs per annum
- Organizations like Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., ITC Limited, Barclays Shared Service Pvt. Ltd., Caterpillar India Pvt. Ltd., Coca Cola India Inc., Wipro Limited, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, Genpact AIG, National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd., Reliance Industries Ltd., Tata Motors Ltd., HCL Infosystems Ltd., Aircel, Maruti Suzuki India ltd., TVS Motor Co. Ltd., Mphasis an HP Co., Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions Ltd. and many more participated in the Campus Placement Program.
The ICAI has always been pro-active in designing education and training schemes so as to produce competent professional Chartered Accountants. The ICAI is aware of the demands of modern dynamic society and therefore the CA course is regularly updated and revised so that the students should acquaint themselves with the latest in the fields of accounting, auditing, finance, IT and should remain ahead of times.
Revised Scheme for Education & Training
- Nomenclature: Foundation, Intermediate and Final.
- Two entry routes. Foundation and Direct.
- Registration after appearing in Class XII. Appearance in Foundation examination after passing Class XII examination.
- Intermediate – Study period is of 8 months.
- Practical training of three years to be started after passing either or both groups of Intermediate.
- Orientation course, GMCS I and ITT merged into Four Weeks Integrated Course on Information Technology and Soft Skills (ICITSS). This has to be completed before commencement of the practical training.
- GMCS II and Advanced ITT merged into Advanced Four Weeks Integrated Course on Information Technology and Soft Skills (AICITSS).This is to be completed during the last two years of Practical Training.
- Final examination can be taken only after completion of practical training and Advanced ICITSS.
- Allowed to Commerce Graduates/Post-Graduates (with minimum 55% marks) or Other Graduates/Post-Graduates (with minimum 60% marks) and Intermediate level passed students of Institute of Company Secretaries of India and Institute of Cost Accountants of India to enter directly to its Intermediate Course. They can immediately commence their practical training after completing ICITSS. They may appear in Intermediate Examination after Nine months of Practical Training.
- Candidates who have passed Intermediate level examination of ICSI or ICWAI and enter the CA Intermediate course directly shall be treated at par with Foundation passed students and shall have to undergo the CA course in the manner akin to the Foundation passed students.
- The Institute is now in the process of preparing syllabus for each subject. Once syllabi are prepared, the New Study Material based on New Syllabi will be prepared.
- The Transition Scheme will be drafted for the existing students.
- Government approved Scheme will be notified in the Gazette of India for inviting comments for a period of forty-five days.
- The public comments so received shall be considered by the Institute.
- The modified Scheme (if changed due to comments received) will again go to Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India for final approval.
- The new Scheme along with the Transition Scheme for the existing students shall be put in place.
- Recognition by Renowned University and Institutes: The Gautam Buddha University, Uttar Pradesh has recognized Chartered Accountancy qualification for pursuing Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Now, 106 institutions (99 Universities, 6 IIMs and IIT Madras) have so far recognized Chartered Accountancy qualification for pursuing Ph.D programme.
- Reading Rooms: With a view to provide a conducive atmosphere to the students, who are coming from different sections of the society, the ICAI is encouraging branches to open more and more additional reading rooms. As on date, 126 Reading Rooms/Libraries are in operation across the country.
- Smart class rooms: Efforts are on to setup Smart Class rooms at Regional Councils and Branches to enable the students to have state of the art learning facilities.
- e-Learning initiatives: In its continuous endeavor to provide quality education to students, ICAI has been actively leveraging technology to facilitate distance education for the CA Course. The Board has made available e-Learning for all the levels of CA Course on the Students Learning Management System (LMS) (http://studentslms.icai.org/index2.htm). It is a Learning System to be pursued by Students along with Practical/ Articled Training as it enables them to learn anytime and anywhere.
- Online Answer Books: As a green initiative, students are now provided certified copies of their answer books in soft copies. Through a secure login identity and password intimated to them, they can visit the particular site and view their answer books at their convenience.
- Online Correction Post-Submission: Even after submission of examination forms, students have another opportunity to correct the particulars online, i.e. at http://icaiexam.icai.org, including change of examination centre, group and medium, etc. This link called Correction Window will enable them to communicate online with our Examination Department for making corrections in the examination forms.