In the intricate world of business management, regular audits are indispensable to maintain financial transparency, legal compliance, and overall operational efficiency. Audits are performed daily, weekly, monthly, biannually, and annually to ensure the stability and adherence to relevant laws, encompassing annual accounts, risk policies, and compliance measures. This article delves into the critical process of appointing an auditor for a company, particularly focusing on the selection of the first auditor, as mandated by section 139 of the Companies Act, 2013.
The auditor plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the interests of a company’s shareholders. Required by law, the auditor meticulously examines the company’s accounting records, shedding light on its true financial health. This assessment benefits investors, shareholders, stakeholders, and directors by providing accurate financial information, which in turn aids in making informed decisions regarding the company’s future endeavors.
Section 139 of the Companies Act, 2013, outlines the appointment procedure for the first auditor of a business entity. Within 30 days of incorporation, the Board must select the first auditor, unless the appointment is made during an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) held within 90 days in cases where the Board’s decision-making is hindered. Notably, the 90-day timeline commences from the incorporation date, not the expiration of the initial 30-day period.
Upon selecting the first auditor, the company is required to file Form ADT to formalize the appointment. The Board of Directors must pass a resolution, obtaining the auditor’s consent, and subsequently submit the auditor’s appointment details to the Registrar of Companies within 15 days of the confirmation. The tenure of the first auditor extends from the conclusion of this meeting until the sixth Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company. However, it’s essential to seek members’ approval for the auditor’s appointment at each subsequent AGM.
The appointment of auditors subsequent to the first auditor necessitates a general meeting of the company’s members. Following the meeting, the elected auditor assumes responsibilities, marking the beginning of their tenure.
In cases of temporary auditor vacancies due to resignation, the board’s decision requires members’ consent within three months of the vacancy’s occurrence. The appointed auditor continues to serve until the subsequent AGM. Filing Form ADT-1 within 15 days of appointing the new auditor is mandatory.
The appointment of an auditor requires meticulous documentation submission, including:
Additionally, the ROC requires the following information:
The Companies Act, 2013, underscores the significance of appointing auditors for every company. The regulations governing auditor appointments are particularly stringent for public companies, limiting auditor tenure to five years consecutively and restricting a firm of auditors from serving for more than two terms or five consecutive years in a publicly traded company.
In conclusion, the meticulous process of appointing an auditor, especially the first one, is pivotal for ensuring financial accountability, adherence to legal requirements, and informed decision-making within a company. The intricate steps involved, along with the necessary documentation, underline the commitment to transparency and corporate governance. As businesses evolve, the role of auditors remains indispensable in maintaining the delicate balance between company growth and regulatory compliance.