Significant Action/ Initiatives of Ethical Standards Board in 2016-17
- ICAI Code of conduct for elected, co-opted and nominated representatives has been issued, which are effective w.e.f 1.1.2017
- Know Your Client (KYC) Norms for members which are mandatory and applicable w.e.f 1.1.2017.These will apply to all attest function. (Appearing under “Announcement”).
- Recommendations of the Ethical Standards Board on revision of Code of Ethics due to IESBA Code of Ethics, 2016 and other developments have been placed before the Council. These are in draft stage at present and will become effective only when approved by the Council. The link of Draft Code is appearing below.
Recent Decisions of Ethical Standards Board
- A chartered accountant in practice can provide services through kiosk only if the services provided are professional activities of a practicing chartered accountant, permitted under the Act.
- A Chartered Accountant in service is allowed to take e-return registration if it does not conflict with employment obligation. However, he cannot certify the return.
- In case where Chartered Accountant in practice is a non-executive director in a company, he or a Firm in which he is a partner, should not accept the appointment as a statutory auditor of a Company which is a joint venture of the original Company, as it would impact independence.
- A Chartered Accountant in practice may be an equity research adviser, but he cannot publish retail report, as it would amount to other business or occupation.
- A Chartered Accountant, who is a member of a Trust, cannot be the auditor of the said trust.
- A Chartered Accountant in practice may engage himself as Registration Authority (RA) for obtaining digital signatures for clients.
- A Chartered accountant can hold the credit card of a bank when he is also the auditor of the bank, provided the outstanding balance on the said card does not exceed Rs 10000 beyond the prescribed credit period limit on credit card given to him.
- A Chartered Accountant in practice can act as mediator in Court, since acting as a “mediator” would be deemed to be covered within the meaning of “arbitrator’; which is inter-alia permitted to members in practice as per Regulation 191 of the Chartered Accountants Regulations, 1988.
- A Chartered Accountant in practice is not permitted to accept audit assignment of a bank in case he has taken loan against a Fixed Deposit held by him in that bank.
- The Ethical Standards Board in 2013 generally apply the stipulations contained in the then amended Rule 11U of Income Tax generally, wherein statutory auditor /tax auditor cannot be the valuer of unquoted equity shares of the same entity.
The Board has at its recent Meeting (January, 2017) has reviewed the above, and decided that where law prohibits for instance in the Income Tax Act and the rules framed thereunder, such prohibition on statutory auditor/tax auditor to be the valuer will continue, but where there is no specific restriction under any law, the said eventuality will be permissible, subject to compliance with the provisions, as contained in the Code of Ethics relating to independence.
- The Ethical Standards Board had in 2011 decided that it is not permissible for a member who has been Director of a Company, upon resignation from the Company to be appointed as an auditor of the said Company, and the cooling period for the same may be 2 years.
The Board has at its recent Meeting (January, 2017) has reviewed the above, and noted that the Section 141 of Companies Act, 2013 on disqualification of auditors does not mention such prohibition; though threats pertaining to the said eventuality have been mentioned in Code of Ethics.
Further, the Board was of the view that a member may take decision in such situation based on the provisions of Companies Act, 2013 and provisions of Code of Ethics.
- A chartered accountant in practice cannot become Financial Advisors and receive fees/commission from Financial Institutions such as Mutual Funds, Insurance Companies, NBFCs etc.
- A chartered accountant cannot exercise lien over the client documents/records for non-payment of his fees.
- It is not permissible for CA Firm to print its vision and values behind the visiting cards, as it would result in solicitation and therefore would be violative of the provisions of Clause (6) of Part-I of First Schedule to the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949.
- It is not permissible for chartered accountants in practice to take agencies of UTI, GIC or NSDL.
- It is permissible for a member in practice to be a settlor of a trust.
- A member in practice cannot hold Customs Brokers Licence under section 146 of the Customs Act, 1962 read with Customs Brokers Licensing Regulations, 2013 in terms of the provisions of Code of Ethics.
- A Chartered accountant in service may appear as tax representative before tax authorities on behalf of his employer, but not on behalf of other employees of the employer.
- A chartered accountant who is the statutory auditor of a bank cannot for the same financial year accept stock audit of the same branch of the bank or any of the branches of the same bank or sister concern of the bank, for the same financial year.
- A CA Firm which has been appointed as the internal auditor of a PF Trust by a Government Company cannot be appointed as its Statutory Auditor.
- A concurrent auditor of a bank ‘X’ cannot be appointed as statutory auditor of bank ‘Y’, which is sponsored by ‘X’.
- A CA/CA Firm can act as the internal auditor of a company & statutory auditor of its employees PF Fund under the new Companies Act (2013).
- The Ethical Standards Board while noting that there is requirement for a Director u/s 149(3) of the Companies Act, 2013 to reside in India for a minimum period of 182 days in the previous calendar year, decided that such a Director would be within the scope of Director Simplicitor (which is generally permitted as per ICAI norms) , if he is non –executive director, required in the Board Meetings only , and not paid any remuneration except for attending such Board Meetings.