Dear Professional Colleagues,
At the outset, I extend heartiest greetings to all of you on this momentous occasion of 72nd CA Day. It has been a wonderful journey of 71 long years in the service to Nation. As the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India celebrates its Foundation Day on July 01, 2020, it stands tall not just as an authentic symbol of the decades of priceless and invaluable experience it acquired via its consistent contribution but also as epitome of continual dynamism and resultantly growth of accountancy profession in the country which is a testimony to the ubiquitous role of the Chartered Accountants in bringing and shaping a resolute India. That the substance and core of brave is tested in times of adversity; even in challenging times of ongoing pandemic, ICAI has been taking path breaking new initiatives and actions to move ahead in the interest of its students, members and other stakeholders. On this foundation day, amid lockdown, I recall the words of ICAI first President, CA. G P Kapadia – “I maintain with pride the position that the health of my profession is perfectly sound and the passing phase of the war period and the post-war period effects will disappear within a short time and the profession will march on to achieve a better status and a stronger footing.” Environment may have changed but this great thought is still very relevant in present day context. The present struggling times which entire world is fighting collectively, will also be history soon and I am sure we will come out much stronger.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “The most reliable way to predict the future is by creating it.” The future of the Accountancy profession is vast and promising. With sky as our only limit, ICAI vows to continue to imagine, improve and innovate in order to take the CA community and the economy to superior heights. This CA Day, we promise to not just capitalise future opportunities of success coming our way but also continue to create newer ones. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India’s relentless efforts towards greater growth and better service shall be steadily translated today in order to have a transformed tomorrow.
The Institute of Charted Accountants of India extends a very warm welcome to Shri Rajesh Verma who has recently taken charge as Secretary of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA). ICAI functions within the administrative control of Ministry and we, at ICAI assure to offer unstinted support to the new Secretary and shall sincerely endeavour to foster the symbiotic collaboration of ICAI in governmental initiatives. We look forward to strengthening our association and leading the Accounting Profession to greater heights of autonomy and moral integrity via our concerted efforts for the betterment of business and industry. Immediately after assuming office by Shri Verma, we had the occasion to meet him, welcome him on behalf of profession and apprise him with various activities being undertaken by the ICAI. We assured him that ICAI will continue to shoulder any responsibility and will act as enabler for all schemes of national interest. At the same time, we are also thankful to, and acknowledge the continuous support and guidance received from retiring Secretary Corporate Affairs, Shri Injeti Srinivas, in all endeavours of the ICAI.
ICAI, constantly strives for excellence and diminutive influence while remaining in sync with our fundamental roots of strong ethics, unwavering morals and sincere integrity. ICAI proudly advocates the gospel truth that success when achieved in the absence of precious values of honesty and righteousness leads itself to absolute redundancy. I am happy to share with you that the revised edition of the Code of Ethics has been issued, which is also available on the ICAI website. Discipline and ethics form the pivotal core of all facets of life, including the business world and accounting profession.
As informed previously, the new Statement of Peer Review will also be come into effect from July 1, 2020 wherein in the revised version, definitions of some terms previously used in the Statement have been modified and some new definitions have been introduced. Also the eligibility criteria of Peer Reviewers has been revised and now Reviewers will also have to clear the empanelment test to be eligible to become a Peer Reviewer. Apart from these changes, the levels of Practice Units have been redefined. I am sure that with the revised Statement, ICAI will be able to serve the stakeholders more effectively.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India has always cultivated the belief that development can only occur exclusive of definite borders. ICAI enjoys harmonious relations with the members of global accounting fraternity and has constantly endeavoured to integrate and improve the standing of the Accountancy subject by uniting efforts at international level. Associating and collaborating with numerous global units has not just facilitated a greater exchange of pioneering ideas but ensures an allencompassing and universally uniform growth of the profession.
To take ICAI mission forward and reach out to the members abroad, ICAI is opening representative offices in jurisdiction where currently the ICAI overseas Chapters cannot be formed. The objective of setting up of the Representative Office is to have a nodal point of ICAI in that jurisdiction and work towards formation of an ICAI Chapter, over a period of time. ICAI has initiated formation of representative offices in Ghana (Acra); Rwanda (Kigali); Mauritius (Port Lious); South Africa (Durban); South Africa (Johannesburg); Egypt (Cairo); Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Texas, New England Region and Washington DC (USA) and many more are in anvil. Also in Fujairah, UAE, ICAI is going to inaugurate its 36th Chapter thus adding its 4th Chapter in United Arab of Emirates.
It is our continuous mission and drive to have more and more presence at global level to create awareness and global opportunities for the Indian accounting professionals. We believe that presence at strategic locations will help us take this objective forward and second overseas office of ICAI that has been set up in Singapore is a step in this direction. ICAI has presence of about 2000+ members in ASEAN countries and an ICAI office in Singapore would enhance the brand image of CA India in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries as well as in other Asia Pacific countries. The office would also be useful for member related areas and in restoring the membership in these countries. It would also help them in maintaining good relations with professional accounting organisations in these countries.
I am happy to inform you that your ICAI has entered into MoU with Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC), set by Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, an apex trade body which facilitates service exporters of India with an aim to enhance the competitiveness of India’s export in Accounting and Finance Services; one of the 12 champion services sectors, through the implementation of the focused and monitored Action Plan. I am sure that this tie up will promote the export of the Indian accounting services at the international platform to newer radar.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India upholds the standards in the areas of financial reporting, auditing, ethics, quality and valuation to maintain consistency in the work system and enforce better business systems. These standards govern the processes and act as a check and balance mechanism leading to simplification of the tasks and better performance. ICAI also issues Guidance Notes for use by its members and other stakeholders. Not only this, it undertakes several initiatives to consistently refine them in accordance with the altering and advancing world and changes at the national level. Post pandemic, ICAI issued a series of advisories on financial reporting and auditing aspects. Moving forward, members will be benefitted by the Guidance Note on the Companies (Auditor’s Report) Order, 2020 which will be brought out to provide detailed guidance on various clauses of Companies (Auditor’s Report) Order, 2020 (CARO 2020) and various issues involved therein in an easy to understand language. This Guidance Note is drafted to be quite comprehensive and self-contained reference document to assist the members in discharging their duties efficiently. Members may recall that Ministry of Corporate Affairs has issued CARO 2020 on 25th February 2020, which was initially applicable for statutory audits of financial statements for periods beginning on or after April 1, 2019. Subsequently, applicability of CARO 2020 was deferred by one year.
Another important development is towards the Engagement and Quality Control Standards which are performance benchmarks for the members while performing auditing, review, assurance and related services engagements. I am happy to inform that we are bringing out “Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) on Engagement and Quality Control Standards” covering number of MCQs on each of the 46 Engagement and Quality Control Standards issued till date. The publication is quite comprehensive with about 1200 MCQs and certainly will be a very helpful guidance for the members while performing their professional responsibilities.
Albert Einstein once remarked, ‘Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.’ After all, there is always a limitless room for improvement. Keeping in mind similar principles, the Industrial Training Portal was recently launched to boost the available industrial training opportunities for our CA aspirants. By bridging the gap between a host of illustrious companies and the CA students, who are hunting industrial training opportunities, this portal acts as a catalyst of growth by improving the quality of skill-development and real practical learning. I encourage members, particularly those in industry to come forward and use the portal to select CA students as trainees. In today’s new age business environment, industrial exposure is very much important for a student to move ahead in his / her dream of becoming a CEO from CFO of a company. Today, the industries need an all-round personality which is in true sense can become the business solution provider and this portal will be a right step in this direction.
Change is the only constant and all new initiatives should be backed by the firm intention and insatiable desire to accommodate and improve. The ICAI official website had over time accumulated excessive data making it difficult to access the relevant information. It is different story that technologies have also changed as the digital world is dynamic and ever-altering. To keep up with these changes and to have improved look and feel, we launched a better and enhanced version of the ICAI website in these times of social distancing as Phase One. This is step in the direction where in the times to come we propose to have one website for the entire ICAI, its Regional Councils and their branches. The new website is not only more user-friendly but fitted with an easy to access ICAI Wall that open up a range of services with the touch of a click.
One can merely survive by resisting change, but thrive only by consistently evolving; after all, success lies outside the comfort zone. Over the years, ICAI has garnered a niche for itself by rising to challenges and persistently building upon embedded virtues of independence, integrity and excellence. The ICAI which once started with a small strength of about seventeen hundred members has grown leaps and bounds to become acclaimed three hundred thousand plus strong family. ICAI holds the prominent record of meeting change with courage and adversity with determination, thus accelerating advancement and progress through constant evolution. Institute is always remained at forefront, in taking new initiatives to serve our students. One such big initiative is creation of 100 crores Fund for Student Scholarship towards enhanced scholarship benefits so that we can double the existing scholarship beneficiaries. Chartered Accountancy is the profession providing excellent opportunities for students of every strata of society as social catalyst and this fund will help every deserving needy student to give wings to their dreams.
Further, in continuation to the 75% waiver of fee provided to the students of 8 North Eastern States, J&K, and Ladakh, we have favourably revised the eligibility of “differently-abled students” category for providing special discount in registration fee of ICAI. Furthermore, we are working on the international curriculum, which while on one side will create more and more recognition of Indian Chartered Accountancy profession at global arena, at the same time will create more professional opportunities for all of you when you join this coveted profession.
Dear Members & Students, before concluding, I wish a very Happy CA day to all of you once again. I wish to reiterate that we will leave no stone unturned to provide world class services to you. With persistent efforts, I am happy to intimate that now we are moving towards Implementation of biometric/digital recording of attendance at CPE programs, and Launching of CABF Portal for easy and quick disposal of requests, Free Online classes for students in addition to previously informed 100% digital evaluation in examinations, and Reverification result to be made available in 7 days. We are moving towards Web e-Portal for CA Firms database, Networking Guidelines to promote networking of CA Firms and promote Digital Leaning hub and Structured CPE Hours.
With the support of all of you, the accountancy profession, its members and Institute are fully transformed and ready to face new age challenges. Let us collectively work for a vibrant profession and to become largest Accounting body in the globe by 2024.
Best wishes. Stay Safe and Healthy.
Jai Hind, Jai ICAI.
CA Atul Kumar Gupta
New Delhi, 30th June, 2020