In the rapidly evolving corporate landscape, professional excellence remains paramount. The Company Secretaries in India received a crucial advisory on 24th August 2023, aimed at strengthening the effectiveness and reliability of services provided by Company Secretaries in Practice. This guide delves into the core directives and offers an understanding of the reinforced protocols.
A. Generation of UDIN: The Unique Document Identification Number (UDIN) is an integral part of the Company Secretary’s professional duties. The ICSI UDIN Guidelines, 2019 emphasizes the prompt generation of UDIN, ensuring its completion either at the signing of official documents or a week prior. This initiative seeks to uphold the authenticity and reliability of official declarations, thereby bolstering stakeholder confidence.
B. Intimation to Previous Incumbent: Ensuring seamless transitions and upholding professional ethics is paramount. Adhering to Clause (8) of Part I of the Company Secretaries Act, 1980, it’s mandated to formally communicate with the preceding incumbent before taking over specific assignments. This practice enshrines mutual respect and maintains the flow of vital information. Details of this regulation can be found here.
C. Peer Review: Professional services require regular assessments to ensure the highest quality standards. The Guidelines for Peer Review of Attestation and Audit Services require Company Secretaries in Practice to undergo a peer review. This protocol ensures that the practice units delivering mandatory certification and audit services are thoroughly vetted. The comprehensive list of services that mandate a Peer Reviewed Practice Unit is available here
D. Auditing Standards: Consistency and credibility are the pillars of any professional audit. The Company Secretaries are advised to strictly adhere to the Auditing Standards issued by the Institute. By doing so, they ensure that all audit engagements maintain the highest standards of accuracy, transparency, and integrity.
The advisory issued on 24th August 2023 is not just a set of guidelines but an affirmation of the Institute’s commitment to excellence, credibility, and rule of law. CS Manish Gupta, the President of ICSI, underscores the importance of adhering to these guidelines, warning against any negligence that might lead to violations of the Company Secretaries Act, 1980. As Company Secretaries remain the pillars of corporate governance, it is of utmost importance that they hold themselves to the highest standards of practice and integrity.
Company Secretaries of India
24nd August, 2023
ADVISORY FOR COMPLIANCE OF GUIDELINES
Dear Professional Colleague,
With an intent to strengthen the effectiveness of the services rendered by a Company Secretary in Practice and protect the interest of the stakeholders Company Secretaries in Practice are advised to:
A. Generation of UDIN
Generate UDIN in terms of ICSI Unique Document Identification Number (UDIN) Guidelines, 2019. The Guidelines clearly state that the UDIN is to be generated either at the time of signing of Report/Return/Certificate/Other document or seven days in advance to the date of such signing and the same is required to be quoted on the Report/Return/Certificate/Other document. The detailed Guidelines may be referred at https://stimulate.icsi.edu/udin
B. Intimation to Previous Incumbent
Comply with the requirement pursuant to Clause (8) of Part I of the First Schedule to the Company Secretaries Act, 1980. The Council of the Institute has specified certain exclusively recognised assignments for which Company Secretary in Practice is required to communicate in writing to the previous incumbent before accepting such assignment. For the details you may visit https://stimulate.icsi.edu/udin/PDF/TestingofStagingserveUDINlink.pdf
C. Peer Review
Obtain Peer Review of the Practice Unit in terms of Guidelines for Peer Review of Attestation and Audit Services. In accordance with the various Regulations issued by the Regulators and decision of the Council of the Institute, various services/assignments have been mandated to be undertaken by a Peer Reviewed Practice Unit. The list of mandatory Certification and Audit Services to be undertaken by Peer Reviewed Practice Unit is available at https://www.icsi.edu/media/webmodules/PRB/Mandatory_Peer_Review.jpg
D. Auditing Standards
Adhere to the Auditing Standards issued by the Institute for all the Audit Engagements accepted by the Company Secretary in Practice. The details are available at https://www.icsi.edu/auditingstandard/
The above serves towards enhancing quality of services rendered, credibility of practising professional and inculcate the culture of rule of law which shall lead to greater self and societal interest.
This advisory is issued in order to encourage the fellow Company Secretaries in Practice to abide by the Guidelines issued by the Council of the Institute so as to avoid violation in terms of the PART II of The Second Schedule of the Companies Secretaries Act, 1980. Any non- compliance to the above-mentioned guidelines would be viewed seriously.
CS Manish Gupta