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Dear Professional Colleagues,

As I take over the baton of Presidency as 71st President of this great institution with its illustrious legacy upholding the public interest, I am overwhelmed with pride and elation. I am equally conscious of the great responsibility that this position brings along and will strive to work with full dedication, determination and passion to continue the profession’s sagacious journey of excellence.

CA. Aniket S. Talati

I must complement members, students and my illustrious predecessors for their immense contribution over the years in earning the respect, goodwill and trust enjoyed by the profession. Today, I recall the excerpts from speech of Mr. K.C. Neogy, Minister for Commerce, 1949, “Though the profession of Accountancy for the most part had been functioning away from public gaze, it was the handmaiden of the industrial and commercial development of the country…The legislature of the country had placed upon the Council great responsibility and it was expected that the Council would establish standards of professional efficiency and more so of professional integrity… would maintain a level of professional conduct and professional standards, which would bring resounding glory not only to the profession but to the country as well.” These word shall continue to guide and inspire me and our Council during the entire year.

As I board on this journey, I would like to thank 25th Council for reposing faith in me and giving me this lifetime opportunity to lead this great institution and profession. On a personal note, I would like to thank my father CA. Sunil H. Talati, past President, ICAI and my grandfather CA. H. M. Talati, past Central Council member for introducing me to this noble profession which today provided me an opportunity to contribute in service of our fraternity. I look forward to the support and guidance of my entire Team ICAI, as we work towards realising the vision of becoming the world’s leading accounting body and supporting the agenda of inclusive, equitable, and sustainable economic growth of the nation.

I am thankful and grateful to my immediate predecessor CA. (Dr.) Debashis Mitra for his decisive leadership in taking path breaking initiatives and the professional camaraderie during 2022-23, it was indeed a learning for me as Vice-President.

Established in 1949, by an act of parliament, the foundation of ICAI is deeply ingrained with the virtues of Independence, Integrity and Excellence. Service to the Nation is in our blood and always inspires us to take newer initiatives in public interest. ICAI over the years has strengthened the role that the accountancy profession plays in providing high quality financial information, facilitating market discipline and fostering confidence of various stakeholders by being a prudential Regulator.

We will soon be celebrating the commencement of 75th year of the ICAI’s existence that too at the time when India is celebrating “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” commemorating 75 years of India’s Independence. This is the time to celebrate our glorious journey as trustees of public interest and catalysing economic development of the country. The commitment to professionalism, trust and ethical values shall continue as in the past. Our thoughts, ideas and action will determine our future. I am proud to say, that the Indian CAs have transformed themselves from Auditors to trusted business advisers.

To propel India to the top ranks of global economic powers, we Chartered Accountants have a very crucial role to play. Working hand in hand with the Government, members have the responsibility to foster economic reforms in the country by providing valuable advice for smooth implementation and propagating various government schemes. For capacity building and empowering MSMEs towards Atmanirbharta, CAs need to guide MSMEs & Startups and help them to flourish. Members and students need to become brand ambassadors spreading financial and tax literacy in the country. Towards strengthening the sustainability ecosystem in the country, Members need to sensitize stakeholders and pave a path for smooth adaptation towards sustainable economy. The Institute should continue to actively partner in various Government Initiatives and support in defining road-maps and growth models for our economy.

ICAI qualification

Working towards achieving the objectives envisioned in Vision 2030, ICAI will go all out to increase the accounting profession’s global outreach and footprint. Building on the success of World Congress of Accountants (WCOA) 2022, the Institute will strive to forge more collaborations with international organisations in the accounting and related fields providing greater mobility and professional opportunities to the Indian professionals.

Sharing vision of ‘Amrit Kaal’ to ascend to new heights of prosperity for India and its citizens, the Institute will continue to contribute towards efficient functioning and affluence of the Indian economy by upholding societal goals leading to inclusive growth. Participating actively in the G20 endeavours with the Government will be an important step in this direction.

The Institute will provide further impetus towards ensuring a robust, transparent, and efficient regulatory mechanism to increase stakeholder’s trust and confidence. To strengthen Research and Development facilities at the Institute, the Institute will be exploit the potential of newer technologies such as AI, Data Analytics, Block Chain, Cloud Computing, etc. to the fullest. As part of our efforts to strengthen the ecosystem, ICAI will further raise awareness on ESG concerns globally by benchmarking the global best practices in Sustainability Reporting and Assurance Standards.

Additionally, enhancing the image and rebuilding the identity of ICAI will be a key focus area, whereby the public perception of Chartered Accountants and the profession will be enhanced by effectively projecting CAs as global professionals. I assure you that quality will continue to be at the heart of everything we do, be it in the academic, or the professional services. With a wonderfully dynamic and expert group of people around me, I am confident of achieving the planned initiatives.

As I communicate with you for the first time, I assure you that ICAI shall continue to set higher benchmarks of excellence and move closer to realising its vision of becoming the world’s leading accounting body.

Our New Vice-President

I congratulate my colleague CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal on his election as Vice-President of the Institute for the year 2023-24. I am confident that his rich professional experience and organizational skills will greatly benefit the profession and also help me in taking profession to newer heights. I know him as a dedicated hard-worker bestowed with exceptional leadership skills and a futuristic vision. Together we shall aim to lay the foundation for next 25 years of ICAI.

Now let’s have a look at some of the profession related developments since last edition:

73rd Annual Function

The Institute celebrated a year of historic milestones at its 73rd Annual Function on 7th February 2023 in Delhi magnanimously. The event was graced by Chief Guest Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Hon’ble Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Culture. The event recognized and celebrated academic brilliance of the meritorious CA students, Regional Councils, Branches and overseas Chapters who were conferred awards for their outstanding accomplishments during the year. On the occasion the ICAI showcased its intellectual prowess by launching/releasing various publications & initiatives. A detailed report of the event is published separately in the journal.

Engaging with Stakeholders

It is our belief and commitment to work with various stakeholders for the economic development of the nation and development of a resilient regulatory ecosystem. In this regard, I and CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal, Vice PresidentICAI met Shri Girish Chandra Murmu, Hon’ble Comptroller & Auditor General of India on 15th February, 2023 and discussed about various initiatives for ICAI partnering with the office of C&AG for enhanced contribution in Nation Building Initiatives.

I along with CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal, Vice President-ICAI also met Dr. Manoj Govil, Hon’ble Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs on 16th February, 2023 wherein various matters related to CA Profession were discussed & ICAI assured its continuous support in various initiatives of the Ministry.

Myself and Vice-President along with Central Council Members CA. (Dr.) Sanjeev Kumar Singhal and CA. Pramod Jain met Dr. Ajay Bhushan Prasad Pandey, Chairperson, National Financial Regulatory Authority on 15th February, 2023 for working towards developing and maintaining high quality accounting and auditing reporting framework in the country.

Global Collaborations for a Global Tomorrow

In the globalized era, it’s essential to develop relations and collaborate with global accounting institutions to build professionals for the global economy. Today when India is doing commendable efforts to become Vishwaguru as manufacturing and knowledge hub of the world, the Indian Accountancy profession shall leave no stone unturned to emerge as global leader. Collaborations with global counterpart enables Indian professionals to gain global insights, competitiveness, trust and global mobility of our profession. In this direction the institute has been constantly working towards globalization of the accounting profession by forging global connections.

  • Union Cabinet approves for renewal of MoU with ICAEW

I am elated to inform you that Union Cabinet has approved the renewal of qualification reciprocity agreement with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW). Through these pages, I extend heartfelt thanks to the Union Cabinet chaired by Shri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India for approving this recognition agreement. The association between ICAI & ICAEW dates back to 2008 and this collaboration with ICAEW will bring a lot of professional opportunities for Indian Chartered Accountants.

  • Recognition of ICAI member as Associate member of Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA)

I am pleased to inform that in a recent development with consistent efforts ISCA, Singapore has recognised ICAI qualification as one of the professional qualifications for associate membership of ISCA, another testimony of increasing brand equity of the profession globally. The recognition will be beneficial for all those members who are residing in Singapore and having six months of local work experience in Singapore.

  • Ambassadors’ Meet and MoU Signing with Invest India

An Interactive Ambassadors’ meet was organized to promote inbound and outbound investment, make India investment friendly destination, collaborate with International accounting bodies for strengthening global financial ecosystem, promote accounting profession globally in alignment with the Government’s vision to boost services export potential. The event was graced by Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs and was attended by delegates from more than 25 embassies.

During the event, the MoU (extension) was signed with Invest India in continuation to the earlier MoU entered on 4th February, 2019 aimed to promote sustainable economic growth and investments in India, collaborate and promote India as an investment friendly destination.

On the occasion, ICAI got inducted into Asia Book of Records for its ICAI MSME Yatra and MSME SETU initiatives which were earlier made to India Book of Records.

  • Training for officials from National Board of Accountants and Auditors (NBAA), Tanzania

With its commitment to the development of profession globally the ICAI conducted a five day training at ICAI Headquarters for the delegation of National Board of Accountants and Auditors (NBAA), Tanzania on areas such as Examination system, functioning of Members and Students Directorate, UDIN & Digital Learning Hub, Career Counselling for students, CPE, Sustainability and Ethics. The training was highly appreciated by the delegates.

International Meetings and Engagements

  • Delegation from Embassy of Estonia

The institute strives to form alliances for promoting trade, investment and export of services from India, I along with CA.(Dr.) Debashis Mitra, Immediate Past President and other Central Council members met Mr. Margus Solnson, Deputy Chief of Mission and Mr. Vinod Basliyal, Trade and Investment Representative, Embassy of Estonia in India visiting at ICAI Head Office, New Delhi on 3rd February, 2023 to work and collaborate in areas of mutual interest.

Visit to Abu Dhabi

I along with CA. (Dr.) Debashis Mitra, Immediate Past President, ICAI attended the 34th Annual International Seminar on the theme “Transformation Redefined Possibilities Infinite” in Abu Dhabi on February 4, 2023. It was pleasure to meet Hon’ble Indian Ambassador to UAE and HE Sheikh Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance during the seminar.

  • Strategy meeting of SAFA Board in Colombo, Sri Lanka

The ICAI constantly aspires to develop the accounting profession globally and recently I alongwith, CA. Ranjeet K. Agarwal, Vice President, ICAI attended the Strategy meeting of SAFA Board on 18th February, 2023 which was Chaired by CA. Nihar N. Jambusaria as President, SAFA in Colombo, Sri Lanka to build the strategic roadmap for development of the profession in the South Asia region and also collectively raise our concerns on global forum for economic development of the region.

Bank Audit

By now, many of you would be giving final touches to your plans and strategy for performing the important assignment of Bank Branch Audit. As such, the exercise of bank branch audit assumes a paramount importance for the banking industry, banking regulators and our members, as well as our nation as a whole. Confident of you performing this nationally important job diligently, I wish you all the best for a timely and effective completion of the audit in compliance with the relevant Standards on Auditing, guidelines of the RBI and keeping the broader national interest in mind.

Union Budget & Post Budget Memorandum

The Union Budget 2023 being the first budget of the Amrit Kaal aspired to lay strong foundation to realize the vision of developed India. The budget has aimed to walk the tight rope by prioritizing growth as well as being fiscally prudent to realise the long term vision of Self-reliant India. To unleash the economy the union budget has identified and outlined seven priority areas known as “Saptrishi” which include inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure and investment, financial sector, youth power and green growth. The intent is to develop India into a knowledge-based economy powered by technology with a strong and resilient financial sector. As envisioned in the budget, ICAI shall be using technology as a catalyst for the development of profession and shall strive to work with government in areas of mutual interest like Education & Skills, Financial literacy, Public Finances etc., for inclusive and sustainable development. We shall be shortly submitting our Post-Budget memorandum to the Government so that expectations and outcomes envisioned in the budget are realised.

Augmenting Infrastructure for Development

With the growing profession and envisioning the future, growth of the profession infrastructure is being strengthened across the country. During the last month Bhoomi poojan ceremonies of COE Kolkata, Latur, Ahmedabad and Raipur were held. These projects once established will help to promote awareness about ICAI and its developmental work amongst the society besides carrying of research, skill building training and better services to the members and students residing in these areas.

Concluding Remarks

For generations, “Development” has been the focal point of discussion at various forums across the globe. However, now women led development has earned more than just a passing attention of the world leaders. As we celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March, let us work for empowering Women both socially and professionally, and harness their power for the development of society, profession and humanity. As rightly said by Swami Vivekananda, “There is no chance for the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. It is not possible for a bird to fly on only one wing.” For our profession to realize its potential in true essence, it is imperative that our women members actively participate in our success.

On the occasion of Holi, I convey my best wishes to you and your families. May this festival of colours be a harbinger of peace, progress and harmony. At this promising outset, let us strengthen our ties with new bonds, initiatives and move forward together.

My best wishes are with you all.

Jai Hind, Jai ICAI.

CA. Aniket S. Talati
President, ICAI

New Delhi, 27th February, 2023

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