Chartered Accountants fear loss of autonomy

Chartered accountants have strongly opposed the government’s move to introduce non CAs into the disciplinary committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

The Chartered Accountants, Cost and Works Accountants and the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2021, has proposed the inclusion of two CAs and three non-CAs — often government nominees —  in the ICAI disciplinary committee, a change from the current setup comprising two non-CA nominees and three ICAI members.

The rejig in composition changes the power equation in favour of non-CAs in the committee which oversees the complaints and enquiries relating to the misconduct of members.

The proposal to have a non CA as the presiding officer of the disciplinary committee has also irked the fraternity as it is a post traditionally held by the president of the institute who holds considerable sway over the committee’s decisions. The bill introduced in the winter session of Parliament has been referred to  standing committee.

Many chartered accountants feel non CAs won’t have the deep knowledge of accounting that’s required to deliver fair judgements.

“The ICAI had shared its reservation with the ministry only on one of the points of the CA amendment bill, with regards to the constitution of the disciplinary committee,” Nihar Jambusaria, president, ICAI, said.

Ved Jain, past president of the ICAI, said “the non CAs won’t have the in-depth knowledge of accounting, which is a must for fair judgement. Simply because there is pendency in the judiciary, the government cannot appoint non-judicial persons to reduce the burdens of the courts.”

“If there are any aberrations, the specific cases should be scrutinised and action be taken and not appoint a body to oversee the regulating body,” he said.   

ICAI vice-president Debasish Mitra said “we would present our case to the parliamentary panel so that a balanced view on the issue could be taken”.

The bill has proposed a time limit to resolve cases under investigation and allows the ICAI to take action not just against individuals but also  firms for lapses.

The ICAI indicated they are not opposed to the time limit, which would ensure speedy resolution of complaints.

10 thoughts on “Chartered Accountants fear loss of autonomy”

  1. I’m practicing as a CA since 1990. I feel that the profession is deliberetly being sidelined! As such all Chartered Accountants have above average Capability. We are forced to depend on our clients and the Govt for our livelihood by restricting our freedom to carry on any commercial activity to make the CA financially sound like say Rakesh Junjunwalla or Kumaramangalam Birla or Uday Kotak who left professional prectice to Persue Commerce! Hence permit Proprietary firms to Carry on Business activities so as to reduce our dependence on Clients and the Govt.

    1. Inclusion of non CAs in disciplinary committee as well as head of the committee shall bring transparency in the system of governance and impartiality in decision making. As have been seen disciplinary actions remain pending for long and even in certain cases no action taken or action taken was not enough or commensurate with the fault. Further, why CA fraternity always seek protection. They should compete with other professionals to justify thier presence and worth.

      1. CA profession has lost its
        credibility long back thanks to audit Fiasco’s like in Palar central bank, Satyam computers, Punjab national bank which left many investors and stakeholders in terrible loss. What is required is
        the audit work should be subjected to review and revisit and reaudit by cost accountants who know best how to do it thanks to their expertise in the field.

    1. As of now must CA for only business. Govt is right in doing this. Ordinary CA are left to struggle for themselves.

  2. I agree with the government in appointing 3 non CA’s in the committee to monitor the complains against the C.A’s. Actually the C.A.’s favour the C.A.’s to a great extend.

  3. The disciplinary setup in all the professional bodies have become self serving. Even in IMA and Legal bodies the influential member get away with murder. This is an excellent move and should be replicated in all professional bodies to ensure transparence and quick redressal.

    1. G Vidya sagar

      Accountability is a must in profession and lapses can be pointed out by the CA firm’s otherwise any wrongs happens CAs are individually and as firm also responsible because they are dealing with public with public money.

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