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http://www.thesynergyonline.com/accountancy.htm
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 18 2011

 


Thesynergyonline Accountancy Bureau

NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 17 :
THE availability
of essential financial information about a company to its shareholders and other stakeholders in accordance with internationally accepted financial norms is considered as an integral and important part of good corporate governance.

To ensure this and to implement the G-20 commitment to achieve a single set of high quality global accounting standards, the Government has taken a decision to achieve convergence of Indian Accounting Standards with IFRS in a phased manner beginning with April, 2011 in accordance with the roadmap suggested by Core Group and Technical Groups set up by the Government.

India's commitment to the policy of 'convergence' of Indian Accounting Standards with IFRS would allow it to consider local economic conditions and environment while preparing converged accounting standards, thus duly and adequately safeguarding the interests of Indian companies/enterprises.

The convergence with IFRS would provide reliable and comparable financial information to investors globally. Such converged accounting standards also aim at bringing more transparency in financial matters, thus seek to protect the interests of investors and improve standards of good corporate governance. They would also enhance the global competitiveness of Indian Industry.

The ICAI has been taking a number of measures for capacity building through various training programmes and workshops etc. The Industry Associations have also been conducting various seminars and conferences to get acquainted with various practical issues involved in the convergence process.

The Industry has always expressed a feeling of readiness on the matter. The concerns expressed by them at various stages have been redressed through issue of suitable clarifications. Press Releases were also issued from time to time for awareness of all stakeholders.

The proposed converged accounting standards have been prepared after following a detailed consultative exercise through issue of exposure drafts by Accounting Standards Board (ASB) of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), examination of comments received thereon and thereafter consideration of such standards by ICAI, National Advisory Committee on Accounting Standards (NACAS) and thereafter by Central Government (MCA) in consultation with M/o Law and Justice.

The revised Schedule VI (Format of Financial Statements), Schedule XIV (Depreciation Rate) and proposed converged accounting standards are ready and are proposed to be notified shortly.

 

Thesynergyonline Accountancy Bureau

NEW DELHI, JANUARY 22 :
TO
avoid possible turbulence and maintain the deadline of 2011 for introduction of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), ASSOCHAM has suggested its implementation on the lines it was done in the European Union.

The Chamber in a Statement said, in the European countries, standalone accounts of individual holding companies and subsidiaries were continued for Regulatory and Tax purposes and only Consolidated Financial Statements were prepared in accordance with IFRS. This option followed by European Union was accepted as adequate for claiming that European Union has converged with IFRS. 

The Chamber further said, the official version of Indian Standards converged to IFRS has already been delayed and, therefore, Mindset to appreciate Fair Value accounting has not been developed in Industry and Investors in view of illiquid markets, volatility of Fair Value, inadeqate skillset on ascertaining Fair Value and doubts regarding unbiased valuation and also there is no clarity on taxation of IFRS based accounts.

However, the chamber has maintained that the issues which must be addressed before transitioning to IFRS includes clarity on direct and indirect taxes, clarity on Companies Act and impact on other laws and regulations which needs proper examination.

To resolve the above matters, imposing the requirement of dual financial statements, one as per IFRS converged standards and another as per the old Indian GAAP will only cause undue hardship to Indian Companies with more harm than benefits as the investors specially in the Indian Capital markets will only be confused to no end.

Thesynergyonline Accountancy Bureau

NEW DELHI, JANUARY 06 :
THE
three-day 'International Conference on Accountancy Profession: Catalyst to Sustained Economic Growth' concluded here today with the signing of a Joint Declaration between the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and the Association of International Accountants, UK (AIA). It was signed by Mr Amarjit Chopra, president, ICAI and Mr M. S. Khare on behalf of AIA. The joint declaration is prepared to benefit both, the Chartered Accountants and the students who pursue CA course. An Honorary membership of the AIA was also conferred upon the President of the ICAI on the occasion.

A number of Sessions were organized by the ICAI during the three-day 'International Conference on Accountancy Profession: Catalyst to Sustained Economic Growth', which began on January 4. The highlight of the Session on Economic Resilience through Good Governance was the views expressed by MrVinod Rai, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, who stressed the importance of good governance in any structure, be it government or corporate sector.

He emphasized that good governance is dependent upon solid foundation of systems, procedures and processes that need to be in place and should not in any way be tinkered with. Stating that India could withstand financial shocks, he added that it is time for introspection and understanding whether the economic growth will take place under stress or on sustainable basis.

In the Session on the 21st Century Accountant, Mr Prabhakar Kalavacherla, Board Member, International accounting Standard Board (IASB), talked about steps that have been taken for harmonization by the IASB which has gained momentum in the last 6 years. He said that 120 countries are basing their standards on IFRS.

He further stated that USA and IASB have jointly signed MoU to work on several accounting standards and this MOU will end in 2011. Mr Kalavacherla said that capital market have become global, economies are interconnected, accountants and auditors need high quality standards therefore conferences like the one organized by ICAI are essential.

In the Session on Emerging Avenues for Profession, Mr Arun Maira, Member, Planning Commission, stated that Accounting profession plays a vital role in good governance of society.

He said that governance keeps together everybody in harmony and many diverse forces together and for achieving good governance, guidance is a key factor.

In the Session on 'Convergence with IFRS: Issues & Challenges', held on the concluding day today, Mr Y. H. Malegam, Chairman, National Advisory Committee on Accounting Standards, brought out various issues and challenges in convergence. He brought out the rationale for convergence rather than adoption in the country.

He mentioned that there are a few carve outs which are taken up with IASB. Subject to these few carve outs, the standards are almost fully convergent, Mr Malegam said.

In the Session 'Bridging expectation gap - Post Satyam fiasco' Mr Amarjit Chopra, President, ICAI, said that Satyam is not a failure on the part of auditors but is a result of total failure of corporate governance.

He focused on the role of Independent Directors, Chairman of audit committee, existing procedures of external confirmations, auditing and assurance norms. He emphasized that all these should be thoroughly reviewed.

Thesynergyonline Accountancy Bureau

NEW DELHI, JANUARY 05 :
SEVENTEEN
companies/entities have been awarded the ICAI Awards for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the year 2009-10. The Awards were presented here yesterday by Mr Salman Khurshid, Minister of Corporate Affairs, on the inaugural day of the three-day ‘International Conference on Accountancy Profession: Catalyst to Sustained Economic Growth’, organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).

In the category of Banking Sector, HDFC Bank has been awarded the Gold Shield; ICICI Bank Limited has bagged the Silver Shield; whereas Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited has been awarded the Plaque for Commended Annual Report for the year ended March 31, 2010.

In the category of Insurance Sector, SBI Life Insurance has been awarded the Gold Shield and the Silver Shield given to Birla Sun Life Insurance.

In the category of Manufacturing Sector (turnover equal to or more than Rs. 500 crore), Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories has been awarded the Gold Shield and the Silver Shield has been won by Tata Chemicals .

In the category of Manufacturing Sector (turnover less than Rs 500 crore), Ganesh Polytex has been awarded the Silver Shield.

In the category of Service Sector (other than banking and insurance) (turnover equal to or more than Rs 500 crore), Tata Consultancy Services has been awarded the Gold Shield and the Silver Shield awarded to Persistent Systems and Infrastructure Development Finance Company .

In the category of Service Sector (other than banking and insurance) (turnover less than Rs 500 crore), Nucleus Software Exports has been awarded the Gold Shield and the Silver Shield has been bagged by Info Edge (India).

In the category of Not-for- Profit Sector, The Akshaya Patra Foundation has been awarded the Gold Shield; Silver Shield has been given to Vidya Dairy; whereas Helpage India has been awarded the Plaque for Commended Annual Report for the year ended March 31, 2010.

In the category of Local Bodies, Surat Municipal Corporation has been awarded the Plaque for Commended Annual Report for the year ended March 31, 2010.

ICAI HOLDS MEET ON ACCONTANCY PROFESSION

Thesynergyonline Accountancy Bureau

NEW DELHI, JANUARY 04 :
THE
Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), is organizing a 3-day international conference on Accountancy Profession: Catalyst to Sustained Economic Growth, here from January 4-6, 2011, at Vigyan Bhawan.

The aim of the conference is to dwell deeper into an emerging paradigm of accountancy profession and bring the Indian and global perspectives together on the broader issues of contemporary relevance. It will provide an opportunity to accounting and related professionals to upgrade themselves professionally.

The international conference was inaugurated by the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee. Minister of Corporate Affairs, Mr Salman Khurshid and Deputy Speaker, Rajya Sabha, Mr K. Rahman Khan will be the guests of honour.

During a special session in the evening today an MoU will be signed between Higher Colleges of Technology, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, UAE, and the ICAI. ICAI Awards for Excellence in Financial Reporting will also be distributed at the Conference.

On the second and third day of the conference, renowned experts from across the world would share their views on the issues of contemporary and emerging interest to accountancy profession on the following broad thematic issues:

Economic Resilience through Good Governance

Harmonization of Global Standards on Accounting and Auditing

Financial reporting

Risk-Based Assessments

Governance and Ethics

Professional Panorama to include emerging paradigms of professional themes.

 

Some of the eminent speakers addressing various sessions will be:

Mr. Vinod Rai, Comptroller & Auditor General of India (C&AG)
Mr. Ian Ball, CEO, International Federation of Accountants (IFAC)
Mr. T. V. Mohandas Pai, ED, Infosys Technologies
Mr. Noriaki Shimazaki, Trustee, IFRS Foundation
Mr. Mark Spofforth, Vice-President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales
CA. Y. H. Malegam, Chairman, National Advisory Committee on Accounting Standards
Mr. C. R. Sundaramurti, Controller General of Accounts of India, Ministry of Finance
Arun Maira, Member, Planning Commission.

 

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Thesynergyonline Accountancy Bureau

Mr D Dhandapani, Group General Manager – Chief Corporate Finance and Mr S.K.Rajput, General Manager(Finance) – Head Corporate Accounts receiving the Best Presented Accounts Award for the year 2009 on behalf of ONGC from Mr Surendra Pandey, the , Finance Minister of Nepal at a function at Kathmandu, Nepal.

NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 21 :
ONGC
has been conferred the first runner up position under the Best Presented Accounts Award for the year 2009 in public sector entities category by South Asia Federation of Accountants (SAFA).

SAFA as a forum of professional accounting bodies comprising of over 1,80,000 professional accountants, is committed to positioning, maintaining and developing the accounting profession in SAARC Region.

Eight accounting professional Institutes of Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are members of this apex body. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) forwarded ONGC’s entry to SAFA for consideration of this award.

The Awards under different categories are conferred on the basis of evaluation administered by SAFA’s committee for Improvement in Transparency, Accountability and Governance of the published annual reports of entries from South Asian Countries. The top honour went jointly to Bank of Ceylon and People’s Bank, Sri Lanka.

The award was presented by Mr Surendra Pandey, the , Finance Minister of Nepal at a function at Kathmandu, Nepal. The award was received by Mr D. Dhandapani, Group General Manager – Chief Corporate Finance and Mr S.K.Rajput, General Manager(Finance) – Head Corporate Accounts on behalf of ONGC.

Commenting on this award, Mr. R.S. Sharma, CMD, ONGC acknowledged that this award is recognition to ONGC’s quality of Accounts and their effective presentation, greater transparency and data sharing with stakeholders and sound governance practices.

ONGC also has the distinction of getting Nil comments from Statutory Auditors as well as Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) continuously during each of last four years.

 


Thesynergyonline Accountancy Bureau

NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 20 :
THE
301st Council meet of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), which functions under the aegis of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, started today at Puri, Orissa. The meeting was inaugurated by the Governor of Orissa, Mr Murlidhar C. Bhandare. The Central Council Members of the Institute, including president, ICAI, Mr Amarjit Chopra, Vice President, Mr G.Ramaswamy and Secretary, Mr T.Karthikeyan, were present at the meeting.

The Central Council is the highest policy making body of the CA profession in India and manages the affairs of the Institute. Besides 32 elected members, there are 8 Government nominees from different Ministries and bodies on the Council of the Institute.

Mr Amarjit Chopra, President, ICAI while addressing the meet gave an account of the glorious history and the services rendered by the Institute. He said, “The ICAI has been in constant dialogue with various ministries in Central and State Governments, providing policy inputs and suggesting innovative ways to strengthen public expenditure management.” He said his Institute would also like to extend its services to the Government of Orissa.

In the inaugural address, the Governor of Orissa, while appreciating the significant contribution made by the CA profession to the growth of Indian economy in the area of liberalization and globalization added that the Institute can help the Government in designing a suitable mechanism for monitoring the use of the funds made available for public expenditure.

He added, “The role of the accounting profession is critical in lending credibility to financial markets by providing quality information which facilitates market discipline and fosters confidence of various stakeholders.”

 

Thesynergyonline Accountacy Bureau

NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 08 :
THE
Institute of Chartered Accountants of India(ICAI), functioning under the aegis of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, organized here today a seminar on Social Audit. A plethora of new ideas in this emerging field were discussed by the Chartered Accountant fraternity.

Inaugurating the Seminar Mr Amarjit Chopra, president, ICAI, said that social audit is need of the hour and government is looking up to Chartered Accountants to play a vital role in this area. In periods to come, social audit would act as a whistle blower, a role that would be played by the chartered accountants, he said.

Social Audit is an overall value- based exercise, which can be conducted right from the grass root level to the level of the Board. A presentation on Genesis and Evolution of Social Audit and a brief on Process and Methodology of Social Audit was also presented during the seminar.

A session on Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Audit was taken by experts in this area. Emphasizing on triple bottom line reporting, the experts came up with the idea that corporates should prepare social accounts and use excerpts in the corporate social accountability report.

 

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President, Mrs Pratibha Devisingh Patil, the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, the Union Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, the Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology, Mr Gurdas Kamat and others at the inauguration of the 150 years celebrations of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, in New Delhi on Tuesday.

 

Thesynergyonline Accountancy Bureau

NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 16 :
THESE
are times of rapid change. In our country, a sustained period of high growth has brought about transformations as never before. It has also resulted in rising aspirations of our people. The additional resources that have become available because of higher growth have enabled our government to fund massive programmes in the social sectors in pursuit of our goal of inclusive growth. In Education, in Health, in Rural Development, outlays have been increased enormously in the last five years. All these factors place tremendous demands on our systems of governance and service delivery, which must need to change quickly to meet the new requirements of the situation , said Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, in his address at a function of 150 Years Celebrations of the Institution of CAG of India.

Traditional, time tested ways of doing things which lend credibility to an institution in the public eye, may prove inadequate in the face of rising aspirations and mounting pressure for quick and efficient delivery of public services. While those in government grapple with different and better ways of doing things, audit, with its vast experience and deep insight, can contribute significantly to revamping systems and procedures in government to meet the challenges of this 21st century. We look forward to the institution of the Comptroller and Auditor General for such advice and guidance in the years that lie ahead , he added.

The importance of credible and effective accountability and oversight institutions cannot be over-emphasized. The global economic crisis that erupted in 2008 has served as a reminder to all of us of the need for such institutions.

The govt is committed to to strengthen the institution of Comptroller & Auditor General of India as part of our broader efforts to improve transparency and accountability in the work of our Government. There arwe growing concerns regarding the inadequate and delayed response to the reports of the Comptroller & Auditor General. The Ministry of Finance has taken a number of initiatives which will lead to an improvement in this area , he pointed out.

In the last few years the government has allocated huge resources to bring about improvements in the delivery of basic services to our citizens, particularly those who are disadvantaged and underprivileged. But, merely expanding the outreach of programmes for employment generation, for education and for health is not enough. We must do better than in the past in implementing our schemes if we are to make a real dent in the problems of persistent poverty, ignorance and disease that still afflict millions of our countrymen, Dr Singh added.

To be effective, the new or expanded schemes that are being implemented need to be carefully designed, monitored and evaluated. We therefore need a shift away from the emphasis on allocation and utilization of financial resources, which our processes of budgeting and accounting have come to reflect over the years, the Prime Minister said.

In the last few years we have made efforts to measure outcomes to judge the effectiveness of our development schemes. But we need to do much more in this area. The emphasis on outcomes need to become pervasive in our system. This would be receiving adequate attention in the institution of Comptroller & Auditor General.

Over the years, there has also been a feeling that we might benefit more if the focus of audit is not so much on minute, individual transactions but on big ticket items on which large sums of public money are expended. While the benefits of detailed, propriety audit cannot be under-estimated, perhaps, there is a case for allocating limited time and resources in a manner that big and systemic issues get due attention and we get much greater value for money spent.

It might also be time to re-orient our approach so that auditors do not rest with pointing out deficiencies. Suggesting methods of doing things better and differently should be an integral part of the evolving process of audit. Audit being a continuous process, such suggestions would become, over the time, an important and continuous source of effecting improvements.

Two developments have altered the patterns of spending public money phenomena. The first is the progressive devolution of powers and resources to the Panchayati Raj Institutions. Though progress in this area can not be said to be satisfactory, we hope that in the years ahead the Panchayati Raj Institutions will be empowered much more with finances, functions and functionaries.

The institutions of accountability therefore will have to realign their processes to reflect this new emerging reality. The other development is the increasing number of public private partnership(PPP) projects both in the Centre and in the States. The Central as well as many State governments have used this route successfully for impressive investments in the infrastructure projects. With time, public private partnership (PPP) will be increasingly used in diverse areas. There is, therefore, a need to improve the structure of public private partnership (PPP) arrangements to ensure that they are transparent, ensure adequate competitiveness and adequately safeguard the public interest. The the Comptroller & Auditor General will play a leading role in ensuring that these new initiatives deliver as intended.

The Comptroller & Auditor General is an active member of the international community of public auditors and also the auditor of several United Nations agencies. These roles give the institution access to global best practices in governance, delivery of public services and accountability. Since the jurisdiction of the Comptroller & Auditor General extends to all the States of our Union, the institution also has an opportunity to get an insight into the reasons which make a programme more successful in some States than in others. Therefore, the organization is well positioned to act as an exchange house of solid good practices, he opined.

He urged that a system be developed so that this wealth of information and experience is shared on an institutionalized basis.

The reports of the Comptroller & Auditor General are taken very seriously by the media, by the public, by the government and by our Parliament. This casts a huge responsibility on the institution to ensure that its reports are accurate, balanced and fair. Very often, there is a very thin line between fair criticism and fault finding, between hazarding a guess and making a reasonable estimate, between a bonafide genuine error and a deliberate mistake, the Prime Minister said.

As an important watchdog in our democracy, it falls upon this institution to sift the wheat from the chaff, to distinguish between wrong-doing and genuine errors, to appreciate the context and circumstances of decision making processes. This requires a very high degree of professional skill and competence , he said.

The institution of Comptroller & Auditor General has acquitted itself very credibly in the past 150 years. However, times are changing and so are our needs. The institution will have therefore to further enhance its capabilities and its skills and re-orient itself to deliver results that our nation expects of it in the years that lie ahead, he added.

In conclusion, he said that the the institution of Comptroller & Auditor General and the Indian Audit & Accounts Service have made immense contribution in ensuring accountability in the processes of government. This institution is expected to play its rightful role in the government's efforts towards a prosperous and equitable future for people.

Thesynergyonline Accountancy Bureau



NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 16 :
INDIA
is a vibrant democracy. With the reforms introduced in the economy and government, our institution also has kept pace in its approach to audit and the methodology of audit. We no longer submit to Parliament Reports which are dated and of limited relevance to the present day administration. We have shed our age old fixation of postmortem to merely extract petty faults in government functioning. Today, we bring to bear a holistic approach focusing on the macro picture. Our attempt is to present the audit report at the earliest so that mid course corrections can be undertaken, said Mr Vinod Rai, Comptroller & Auditor General at an inaugural function of 150th anniversary.

The mindset is positive so as to make recommendations for improvement. We undertake performance audits to provide government an objective and clinical analysis of the efficiency and outcomes of budgetary plan expenditures. We no longer focus merely on audit of government expenditure. Our audit focus is on the outcome of such expenditures, he added.

In about 60 years of its existence post independence the instituion has withstood the test of its independence and objectivity. We have an excellent pool of professionals. We continuously upgrade their skills to keep them abreast of international best practices, he said.

Our training institutions are highly acknowledged by other supreme audit institutions. We train about 200 foreign audit officers every year on different aspects of audit. The institution of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India has, by its professional excellence and pool of knowledgeable experts attained a pride of place in the international audit community, he said.

It is in recognition of our skill sets that we have been chosen to audit large international agencies like the Food & Agriculture Organization, World Health Organization, World Food Programe and the United Nations among others , he further said.

Within the country, we have been aspiring to partner the Government to improve governance at the Centre and the States. The Government, through every Five Year Plan has improved on the delivery process of its flagship programmes. With the introduction of newer models of implementation such as Public Private Partnership (PPP), using Panchayati Raj institutions for delivering social sector schemes and setting up specialized non-governmental institutions for better public participation, there is a need for us to revisit our legal mandate which did not envisage any such models earlier. It has to be recognized that more than 50 percent of Central plan funds are now being routed through these channels. The Parliament and the Government, have to take a view on whether parliamentary oversight has to be maintained over such spending.

It was in this context, and after full discussion with the Government, that we submitted in November last year a revised statute to ensure automatic legal mandate to the CAG on such spending. We await the introduction of the proposed statute in Parliament , he said.

This department is of the firm view that policy formulation is the prerogative of the Government. We merely seek to objectively analyse the implementation of those policies and assess the outcomes. We are engaged in this process to build capacity in the Centre and States for transition to accrual accounting. We have associated ourselves with the Government to help in devising efficient delivery programmes. We address systems and processes to ensure optimal utilization of resources. We seek out best practices and disseminate them across departments to partner in upgrading governance.

In conclusion, he said ," Our department stands committed to support excellence, probity, transparency and accountability.”



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