MCA Notifies Companies (Auditor’s Report) Order, 2020 (CARO 2020). The CARO, 2020 is applicable for audit of financial statements of eligible companies for the financial years commencing on or after the 1st April, 2019.

MINISTRY OF CORPORATE AFFAIRS
ORDER

New Delhi, the 25th February, 2020

S.O. 849(E).—In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (11) of section 143 of the Companies Act, 2013 (18 of 2013 ) and in supersession of the Companies (Auditor’s Report) Order, 2016, published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, Section 3, Sub-section (ii), vide number S.O. 1228 (E), dated the 29th March, 2016, except as respects things done or omitted to be done before such supersession, the Central Government, after consultation with the National Financial Reporting Authority constituted under section 132 of the Companies Act, 2013, hereby makes the following Order, namely:—

1. Short title, application and commencement. – (1) This Order may be called the Companies (Auditor’s Report) Order, 2020.

(2) It shall apply to every company including a foreign company as defined in clause (42) of section 2 of the Companies Act, 2013 (18 of 2013) [hereinafter referred to as the Companies Act], except–

(i) a banking company as defined in clause (c) of section 5 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (10 of 1949);

(ii) an insurance company as defined under the Insurance Act,1938 (4 of 1938);

(iii) a company licensed to operate under section 8 of the Companies Act;

(iv) a One Person Company as defined in clause (62) of section 2 of the Companies Act and a small company as defined in clause (85) of section 2 of the Companies Act; and

(v) a private limited company, not being a subsidiary or holding company of a public company, having a paid up capital and reserves and surplus not more than one crore rupees as on the balance sheet date and which does not have total borrowings exceeding one crore rupees from any bank or financial institution at any point of time during the financial year and which does not have a total revenue as disclosed in Scheduled III to the Companies Act (including revenue from discontinuing operations) exceeding ten crore rupees during the financial year as per the financial statements.

(3) It shall come into force on the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.

2. Auditor’s report to contain matters specified in paragraphs 3 and 4. – Every report made by the auditor under section 143 of the Companies Act on the accounts of every company audited by him, to which this Order applies, for the financial years commencing on or after the 1st April, 2019, shall in addition, contain the matters specified in paragraphs 3 and 4, as may be applicable:

Provided this Order shall not apply to the auditor’s report on consolidated financial statements except clause (xxi) of paragraph 3.

3. Matters to be included in auditor’s report. – The auditor’s report on the accounts of a company to which this Order applies shall include a statement on the following matters, namely:-

(i) (a) (A) whether the company is maintaining proper records showing full particulars, including quantitative details and situation of Property, Plant and Equipment;

(B) whether the company is maintaining proper records showing full particulars of intangible assets;

(b) whether these Property, Plant and Equipment have been physically verified by the management at reasonable intervals; whether any material discrepancies were noticed on such verification and if so, whether the same have been properly dealt with in the books of account;

(c) whether the title deeds of all the immovable properties (other than properties where the company is the lessee and the lease agreements are duly executed in favour of the lessee) disclosed in the financial statements are held in the name of the company, if not, provide the details thereof in the format below:-

Description of property Gross carrying
value
Held in name of Whether promoter, director     or
their relative or employee
Period held

– indicate
range, where appropriate

Reason for not being held in name of company*
*also

indicate if in dispute

(d) whether the company has revalued its Property, Plant and Equipment (including Right of Use assets) or intangible assets or both during the year and, if so, whether the revaluation is based on the valuation by a Registered Valuer; specify the amount of change, if change is 10% or more in the aggregate of the net carrying value of each class of Property, Plant and Equipment or intangible assets;

(e) whether any proceedings have been initiated or are pending against the company for holding any benami property under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 (45 of 1988) and rules made there under, if so, whether the company has appropriately disclosed the details in its financial statements;

(ii) (a) whether physical verification of inventory has been conducted at reasonable intervals by the management and whether, in the opinion of the auditor, the coverage and procedure of such verification by the management is appropriate; whether any discrepancies of 10% or more in the aggregate for each class of inventory were noticed and if so, whether they have been properly dealt with in the books of account;

(b) whether during any point of time of the year, the company has been sanctioned working capital limits in excess of five crore rupees, in aggregate, from banks or financial institutions on the basis of security of current assets; whether the quarterly returns or statements filed by the company with such banks or financial institutions are in agreement with the books of account of the Company, if not, give details;

(iii) whether during the year the company has made investments in, provided any guarantee or security or granted any loans or advances in the nature of loans, secured or unsecured, to companies, firms, Limited Liability Partnerships or any other parties, if so,-

(a) whether during the year the company has provided loans or provided advances in the nature of loans, or stood guarantee, or provided security to any other entity [not applicable to companies whose principal business is to give loans], if so, indicate-

(A) the aggregate amount during the year, and balance outstanding at the balance sheet date with respect to such loans or advances and guarantees or security to subsidiaries, joint ventures and associates;

(B) the aggregate amount during the year, and balance outstanding at the balance sheet date with respect to such loans or advances and guarantees or security to parties other than subsidiaries, joint ventures and associates;

(b) whether the investments made, guarantees provided, security given and the terms and conditions of the grant of all loans and advances in the nature of loans and guarantees provided are not prejudicial to the company’s interest;

(c) in respect of loans and advances in the nature of loans, whether the schedule of repayment of principal and payment of interest has been stipulated and whether the repayments or receipts are regular;

(d) if the amount is overdue, state the total amount overdue for more than ninety days, and whether reasonable steps have been taken by the company for recovery of the principal and interest;

(e) whether any loan or advance in the nature of loan granted which has fallen due during the year, has been renewed or extended or fresh loans granted to settle the overdues of existing loans given to the same parties, if so, specify the aggregate amount of such dues renewed or extended or settled by fresh loans and the percentage of the aggregate to the total loans or advances in the nature of loans granted during the year [not applicable to companies whose principal business is to give loans];

(f) whether the company has granted any loans or advances in the nature of loans either repayable on demand or without specifying any terms or period of repayment, if so, specify the aggregate amount, percentage thereof to the total loans granted, aggregate amount of loans granted to Promoters, related parties as defined in clause (76) of section 2 of the Companies Act, 2013;

(iv) in respect of loans, investments, guarantees, and security, whether provisions of sections 185 and 186 of the Companies Act have been complied with, if not, provide the details thereof;

(v) in respect of deposits accepted by the company or amounts which are deemed to be deposits, whether the directives issued by the Reserve Bank of India and the provisions of sections 73 to 76 or any other relevant provisions of the Companies Act and the rules made there under, where applicable, have been complied with, if not, the nature of such contraventions be stated; if an order has been passed by Company Law Board or National Company Law Tribunal or Reserve Bank of India or any court or any other tribunal, whether the same has been complied with or not;

(vi) whether maintenance of cost records has been specified by the Central Government under sub-section (1) of section 148 of the Companies Act and whether such accounts and records have been so made and maintained;

(vii) (a) whether the company is regular in depositing undisputed statutory dues including Goods and Services Tax, provident fund, employees’ state insurance, income-tax, sales-tax, service tax, duty of customs, duty of excise, value added tax, cess and any other statutory dues to the appropriate authorities and if not, the extent of the arrears of outstanding statutory dues as on the last day of the financial year concerned for a period of more than six months from the date they became payable, shall be indicated;

(b) where statutory dues referred to in sub-clause (a) have not been deposited on account of any dispute, then the amounts involved and the forum where dispute is pending shall be mentioned (a mere representation to the concerned Department shall not be treated as a dispute);

(viii) whether any transactions not recorded in the books of account have been surrendered or disclosed as income during the year in the tax assessments under the Income Tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961), if so, whether the previously unrecorded income has been properly recorded in the books of account during the year;

(ix) (a) whether the company has defaulted in repayment of loans or other borrowings or in the payment of interest thereon to any lender, if yes, the period and the amount of default to be reported as per the format below:-

Nature  of  borrowing,
including
debt securities
Name of lender* Amount not paid on due date Whether principal or interest No. of days delay or
unpaid
Remarks, if any
*lender wise details to be provided in case of defaults to banks, financial institutions and Government.

(b) whether the company is a declared wilful defaulter by any bank or financial institution or other lender;

(c) whether term loans were applied for the purpose for which the loans were obtained; if not, the amount of loan so diverted and the purpose for which it is used may be reported;

(d) whether funds raised on short term basis have been utilised for long term purposes, if yes, the nature and amount to be indicated;

(e) whether the company has taken any funds from any entity or person on account of or to meet the obligations of its subsidiaries, associates or joint ventures, if so, details thereof with nature of such transactions and the amount in each case;

(f) whether the company has raised loans during the year on the pledge of securities held in its subsidiaries, joint ventures or associate companies, if so, give details thereof and also report if the company has defaulted in repayment of such loans raised;

(x) (a) whether moneys raised by way of initial public offer or further public offer (including debt instruments) during the year were applied for the purposes for which those are raised, if not, the details together with delays or default and subsequent rectification, if any, as may be applicable, be reported;

(b) whether the company has made any preferential allotment or private placement of shares or convertible debentures (fully, partially or optionally convertible) during the year and if so, whether the requirements of section 42 and section 62 of the Companies Act, 2013 have been complied with and the funds raised have been used for the purposes for which the funds were raised, if not, provide details in respect of amount involved and nature of non-compliance;

(xi) (a) whether any fraud by the company or any fraud on the company has been noticed or reported during the year, if yes, the nature and the amount involved is to be indicated;

(b) whether any report under sub-section (12) of section 143 of the Companies Act has been filed by the auditors in Form ADT-4 as prescribed under rule 13 of Companies (Audit and Auditors) Rules, 2014 with the Central Government;

(c) whether the auditor has considered whistle-blower complaints, if any, received during the year by the company;

(xii) (a) whether the Nidhi Company has complied with the Net Owned Funds to Deposits in the ratio of 1: 20 to meet out the liability;

(b) whether the Nidhi Company is maintaining ten per cent. unencumbered term deposits as specified in the Nidhi Rules, 2014 to meet out the liability;

(c) whether there has been any default in payment of interest on deposits or repayment thereof for any period and if so, the details thereof;

(xiii) whether all transactions with the related parties are in compliance with sections 177 and 188 of Companies Act where applicable and the details have been disclosed in the financial statements, etc., as required by the applicable accounting standards;

(xiv) (a) whether the company has an internal audit system commensurate with the size and nature of its business;

(b) whether the reports of the Internal Auditors for the period under audit were considered by the statutory auditor;

(xv)  whether the company has entered into any non-cash transactions with directors or persons connected with him and if so, whether the provisions of section 192 of Companies Act have been complied with;

(xvi) (a) whether the company is required to be registered under section 45-IA of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 (2 of 1934) and if so, whether the registration has been obtained;

(b) whether the company has conducted any Non-Banking Financial or Housing Finance activities without a valid Certificate of Registration (CoR) from the Reserve Bank of India as per the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934;

(c) whether the company is a Core Investment Company (CIC) as defined in the regulations made by the Reserve Bank of India, if so, whether it continues to fulfil the criteria of a CIC, and in case the company is an exempted or unregistered CIC, whether it continues to fulfil such criteria;

(d) whether the Group has more than one CIC as part of the Group, if yes, indicate the number of CICs which are part of the Group;

(xvii) whether the company has incurred cash losses in the financial year and in the immediately preceding financial year, if so, state the amount of cash losses;

(xviii) whether there has been any resignation of the statutory auditors during the year, if so, whether the auditor has taken into consideration the issues, objections or concerns raised by the outgoing auditors;

(xix) on the basis of the financial ratios, ageing and expected dates of realisation of financial assets and payment of financial liabilities, other information accompanying the financial statements, the auditor’s knowledge of the Board of Directors and management plans, whether the auditor is of the opinion that no material uncertainty exists as on the date of the audit report that company is capable of meeting its liabilities existing at the date of balance sheet as and when they fall due within a period of one year from the balance sheet date;

(xx) (a) whether, in respect of other than ongoing projects, the company has transferred unspent amount to a Fund specified in Schedule VII to the Companies Act within a period of six months of the expiry of the financial year in compliance with second proviso to sub-section (5) of section 135 of the said Act;

(b) whether any amount remaining unspent under sub-section (5) of section 135 of the Companies Act, pursuant to any ongoing project, has been transferred to special account in compliance with the provision of sub­section (6) of section 135 of the said Act;

(xxi) whether there have been any qualifications or adverse remarks by the respective auditors in the Companies (Auditor’s Report) Order (CARO) reports of the companies included in the consolidated financial statements, if yes, indicate the details of the companies and the paragraph numbers of the CARO report containing the qualifications or adverse remarks.

4. Reasons to be stated for unfavourable or qualified answers.- (1) Where, in the auditor’s report, the answer to any of the questions referred to in paragraph 3 is unfavourable or qualified, the auditor’s report shall also state the basis for such unfavourable or qualified answer, as the case may be.

(2) Where the auditor is unable to express any opinion on any specified matter,his report shall indicate such fact together with the reasons as to why it is not possible for him to give his opinion on the same.

[F. No. 17/45/2015-CL-V Part I]
K.V.R. MURTY, Jt. Secy.

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8 Comments

  1. J Gnanaseelan Muthuraj says:

    It is a disappointment that the CARO-2020 cannot benefit contributing to the corporate governance of the big unlisted companies operating under sec. 8. The company called Church of South India Trust Association (CSITA) which shows an annual turnover of more than Rs. 2000 crores is reeling under allegations of corruption and fraud and serious complaints of corporate failures and non-compliance is made to feel quite safe under the blanket term sec. 8 companies. CARO 2020 seems to have some important remedies for the governance mechanism of the CSITA and now it does not have to bother about the stringent measures introduced. The exemptions granted to sec. 8/charity companies in actual practice are proving to be counter-productive and they help the company like the CSITA to conceal their wrong doings. Auditing plays a significant part in it is functioning within the management premises. No secretarial audit is ever done even though it has hired a Practising Company Secretary merely to sign Forms. Internal audit is never heard of. The said company is for the last four years holding a stay (for the third time) on the Government order for SFIO investigation through courts. I am the lone voice requesting for extending the new regulations to cover particularly those sec. 8 companies which maintain not only a high annual turnover and a good net-profit but are having to manage a vast amount of immovable properties that have become the prey to the exploiters and illegal dealers. There are clear evidence that the entity has misused immovable property by transferring or gifting away to societies/associations of persons to do business with them without the approval of the company. Loans are drawn at will by those groups in the name of the company. As such, Sec. 8 companies do not have to establish Vigil/Whistle-blowing mechanism (and appoint Stakeholders’ Relationship Committee) to report any unethical behaviour or other concerns to/about the management Here is another opportunity for them in the form of CARO-2020 to ignore whistle-blowers. It submits only a stand-alone Financial statement without consolidated one although it has 27 units. Kindly review the applicability of the CARO-2020 so that it can prevent corporate scams happening in the licensed companies under sec.8 which are equal in magnitude of those scams in the listed companies.

    1. sai praveen says:

      Provided this Order shall not apply to the auditor’s report on consolidated financial statements except clause (xxi) of paragraph 3.

      Sir, you can read this point with regard to Consolidated Financial statements in 2nd point.

    1. SumeetGupta says:

      CARO reporting to be done by auditor has been amended..
      Important changes are as follows:

      1. Reporting on revaluation of Property, Plant and Equipments by company
      2. Reporting of proceedings under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988.
      3. Reporting if the stock statements filed with banks are in line with books of accounts, if company was sanctioned working capital limits in excess of five crore rupees or more from banks or financial institutions.
      4. Reporting of investments in or providing of any guarantee or security or granting any loans or advances.
      5. Loans overdue for more than 90 days, evergreening of loans, reporting on any *loan default, etc.
      6. Reporting of compliances with RBI directives and the provisions the Companies Act with respect to deemed deposits.
      7. Reporting with respect to transactions not recorded in the books of account but now surrendered or disclosed as income in the income tax proceedings.
      8. Reporting on treatment by auditor of whistle-blower complaints received during the year by the company
      9. Reporting on internal audit system
      10. Reporting on cash losses
      11. Reporting on resignation of the statutory auditors
      12. Reporting on uncertainty of company capable of meeting its liabilities
      13. Reporting transfer of unspent CSR amount to Fund specified in Schedule VII

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