Honourable President Sir
At the outset of Christmas and New Year please accept my season greetings.
Herewith I would like to share some suggestions, in my mind, please go through them and do the needful;-
A. Electoral reforms;-
1. State wise number of CCM and RCM may be fixed. They will be eligible for votes and responsible for respective States. In this way at the time of election, huge travelling time and money can be saved. Of course these state wise candidates will be from their region’s number of CCM and RCM. Because current CCM and RCM travel across the region and new candidates have to travel the entire region to come in the race.
2. Each Ballot should carry its serial number and other specification.
3. Software for E voting/ EVM should be developed or the counting should start simultaneously for all regions at regional HQs instead of doing it at Delhi. Increase in number of booths across the cities/towns/districts etc.
4. Location of polling booth must be reconsidered according to the current situations, as many polling booths are in remote areas and members are facing problems in reaching the location.
B. General Administration
1. Auditors of ICAI, Regions, and Branches may be appointed by CAG to keep independence at all levels. At branches generally auditors are appointed on the recommendations of branch management. This affects independence of auditors. Fee of branch auditor should be adequate. Present rate structure is very poor/ meager considering the time and efforts required.
2. The response mechanism in the ICAI should be improved. Lethargy in taking up issues should be avoided as they are effecting common members.
3. Proper and active committees both at centre as well as regional council Should be formed initially not at fag end.
4. Transparency in CCM meetings and live telecast of meetings.
5. Austerity should be guiding principal. Curtailment in CCM and RCM’s expenses including foreign travel.
6. E meeting of CCM and RCM, physical meeting only in the case of requirement.
7. Wherever branches building are available then all programme should be conducted at branch buildings including OT, GMCS, ITT etc.
8. President & Vice-President should not travel together. Vice-president may travel and gather knowledge about problems of members so that he can resolve them when he becomes president. President may sit in HO and work for the benefit of the profession.
9. In my opinion, ICAI shall appoint one ca in each place as “CA TO CA HELP POINT” and develop one app /link through which we can contact in case of emergency to such ca. This is very easy , voluntary names can be called and link can be created in ICAI website.
10. CCM Committee meetings are generally held in the last year of the term instead these must be held through out their term.
C. For Members:-
1. We should give strong representation and follow up for disallowing advocates and other professionals for audit and certification under GST.
2. ICAI should take bold steps to stop erosion of our Certification Rights.
3. Tendering should be stopped.
4. Council should act boldly and create new avenues for profession, like ICMA and ICSI.
5. Fee for the various courses must be lowered.
6. Professional courses both at entry levels as well as post qualification need be revisited, as far as fee and content is concerned looking into the commercial use also.
7. Govt audit and allied works be taken due care, defining proper guidelines on tendering including, better role of ICAI and RBI on allotment procedures to be more independent.
8. New avenues like railways should to be explored.
9. Disciplinary mechanism must be visible.
10. Peer review board must be strengthened with larger and neutral coverage.
11. Stringent and unbiased disciplinary mechanism for members.
12. Members in practice should not be allowed to do coaching activities.
13. Coaching should be treated as a business.
14. Statutory Bank Audit and other audits of Banks: –
i. Cooling period of 33 station list has now become an age old list; this requires redefining of cooling station list. Further cooling period of 2 year must be adhered to and small cities must be kept out of preview of such list.
ii. In Appointments every effort must be made to keep auditor’s independence. Further, in SBA allotment Geographical Mapping and from fee point of view, advances as well as deposit must be considered.
iii. Central Auditor and Branch Auditor of Banks should be appointed by RBI to ensure Independence of auditors. This is very crucial.
iv. Looking at the increasing number of banking frauds and new provisions relating to Money laundering and terror financing through banks in small cities, limit of Bank Audit should be reduced to Rs.10 crores advances, if not Rs.5 crores.
v. Auditors of all institutions taking Public Deposits, including all Private sector Banks and Category-A NBFC’s should be appointed by RBI to ensure Independence of Auditor and fair and timely reporting of incipient sickness, negative financial signals and window dressing by such banking companies/NBFC. This has become more relevant when we see at the large scams committed by Sahara and Sharda Chit Fund and some small private banks & Finance Companies. Safety of Public money is ultimately the responsibility of Govt. because License to take public deposit is given by Govt.
vi. Concurrent Audits should also be allotted by RBI. Further Concurrent audit of smaller branches of banks be reserved only for ACA’s.
vii. Statutory Audit of Branches of Gramin Banks should be reserved for ACA’s. Sir in small cities and towns there are very less opportunities and competition is too high, therefore this is my humble request to do the needful.
viii. Fee in the CAG assignment should be in consonance with the work, time consumed and responsibility involved therein.
15. New qualified CAs should be given support in Practice as well in Campus placement. No participation fees should be taken from Co’s participating in Campus Placement programmes of ICAI. This will bring in many more companies and new CA’s will be in a much better chance to get a good job, which is presently going to only those students who have qualified in 1st attempt, which is not fair. ICAI has enough funds and for the benefit of newcomers they should refrain from charging these companies. In fact these companies should be given a red carpet welcome for hiring CA’s.
16. Further, the placement programs should be conducted round the year and cover more places than metros and big cities. Corporate should be persuaded to look for talent from small towns.
17. Group Term Insurance Scheme for members and spouse:-
ICAI is having tie up with Birla Sun Life and WIRC for LIC for group term insurance. But the Coverage is just 10 lakhs/ 5 lakhs for members/ spouse which is very less in current scenario.
The Health Insurance scheme of ICAI with New India Assurance Ltd is very good and members are enjoying the benefits like 45 % discount and many exemptions.
18. With 250000 members, ICAI may think of having a centralized Group Term Insurance with at least Rs. 50 lakhs for Members and 25 lakhs for spouse which will give following benefits.
Reduced rates of premiums
Centralized data of members with ICAI which in case of unfortunate demise of a member, ICAI on a request can approach the company and ensure that claim is given to the member. Most of the times families of members are not aware of the insurance policies of the
members. In this case his other colleagues can approach ICAI and ensure that claim is processed.
Exemptions like no medical tests, self-declaration of health etc.
This will also ensure reduction on burden on CABF and member’s families will get a good amount of money in case of an unfortunate event.
A tie up with LIC may be thought of as it is the leading and guaranteed insurer.
A benefit like superannuation may also be thought of so that the members could get a minimum monthly sum after age of 55.
19. The Post qualification courses should be made more lucrative by reducing its fees, trying for wider acceptability of it by various stake holders.
20. Chartered accountants should get bigger pie in the Central/State Government consultancy job. The institute should ensure it through more effective presentation and liaison before the respective Governments.
21. GST is round the corner. The Institute should impress the Governments to assign majority work to chartered accountants. Profession will take a big leap forward, provided the Institute impress the Governments that CA are well geared up take the forth coming challenges and opportunities in GST. CAs can help in training and implementation of GST.
22. New members assured guaranty scheme should be brought for newcomers in practice
23. Elderly Memebers’ practice/goodwill to be sold/auctioned through inbuilt mechanism thru ICAI, may be called sort of retirement benefit.
24. Small Firms/SMPs should be encouraged and firms from smaller cities to have weightage in allotment of professional works in comparision to their counterparts in metros with more avenues.
25. SBA should be allotted to maximum no. of firms. It should be limited to 2 branches per firm by all banks even for SBA or CSA.
26. Concurrent Bank Audit should also be capped to 2 branches audits per firm, so that the work may not centralise in some hands and result in fair/equal distribution among more and more firms from faternity.
D. For Students –
1. Students required much care as far as their OT, 2 GMCS and 2 ITT is concerned.
2. Our Team mainly consists of Article Clerks whose contribution is very important in our practice, who also tend to travel while discharging his/her duty to the office.
I will request to give a thought for a Personal Accident Insurance policy via ICAI for the Article clerks so that they can be suitably protected in case of any unfortunate event.
The insurance companies do not entertain Personal accident insurance of a large amount because of various issues such as income, benefits, other formalities etc at a small amount of premium.
3. The students Coaching by ICAI at branches at nominal charges.
E. For Branches
1 Each branch should be equipped with digital library so that new members can utilise the online available resources.
2 The Institute should focus on attracting more and more number of students into the course of chartered accountancy. The declining number of students joining the CA course over last two years is a cause of concern.
3 The Institute should focus on increasing revenue of the branches. Otherwise it would be very difficult to maintain the recent branches infrastructure created. The declining number of students leading to sharp falls in branches revenue from ITT and GMCS courses. The institute should explore more avenues for generating and augmenting branch revenue and resources.
4 Scheme should be brought for welfare of branch employees. The branches employee scheme, 2014 announced is pending implementation since 1-4-20 14 (21 months together).
Effective outcome of all the work should be visible at ground level. We would eagerly wait for fruitful results at all levels for the betterment of the profession.
The Institute has abundant funds which can be utilised for welfare and wellbeing Members and students.
I am giving all the suggestion as I am a strong believer of service to the profession and society.
CA Shiv Khatry, Bikaner
(Article is Compiled by CA Shiv Khatry with Inputs from Various Members in the Profession)