Saturday, September 15, 2012

HIGH QUALITY EDUCATION AND TRAINING A NEED OF THE HOUR


The chartered accountants have been playing very important role in sustained growth of Indian businesses, service sector, and manufacturing sector and have also been providing the key support in tax administration and compliance of various laws and regulations.The expectations of the businesses and stakeholders are increasing with increasing size of business, complexity, financial and regulatory requirements. In this backdrop it is very important for the profession and specially the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India to ensure that education and training are integrated in such a manner that the quality of chartered accountants is significantly upgraded to meet the increasing complexities
and expectations of various stake holders. On the one hand ICAI examination system needs to ensure to include practical case studies, comprehensive coverage of all theoretical and practical aspects of various subjects in a deep manner. The syllabus may be revised to exclude un required modules and
to have adequate and in depth coverage of all important subjects to enable chartered accountants to play a direct role in adding significant value to their clients, employers and other stake holders.
An in depth practical training with tough discipline is the backbone of the profession. The focus on classes need to be shifted outside office hours and should not disturb training.It is important to ensure by the Institute, chartered accountants and the entire student fraternity that training is taken very
seriously by all the students and is inculcated in a very effective and efficient manner while ensuring complete commitment and discipline among students. The students need to be convinced that an in depth study of ICAI study material, text books and reference books is a must to ensure their development as a complete and able chartered accountant. The tendency of studying only with the objective of passing the examination will defeat the basic objective of creating competent and able professional chartered accountants. The success of CA students entirely depends on level of expertise
and competence to solve practical problems and to effectively deal with all kinds of business situations. ICAI also need to ensure that only high quality students are able to pass the entry level examinations so that effective training can be provided to all such persons. A swift strategic move at this stage is very necessary to ensure a long term survival and growth of the profession and to ensure high level of value addition, reputation, salaries and fee scale for all the members. We need to give adequate time and attention for exam preparation and theoretical studies and balance it with training
needs. Effective and tough steps are immediately required in all the aforesaid areas.

CAG : A HIGH PERFORMING AUDITOR

The Comptroller & Auditor General of India is a sovereign institution primarily set up under the Constitution of India to undertake proprietary audit of all financial transactions undertaken by the government. The CAG have wide power of access to all government records, policies and procedures
and is expected to critically examine various decisions taken by the government for ensuring financial propriety and financial discipline in various organs of the government.

2G Scam

CAG has indicted the government and specially the telecom ministry for awarding 2G telecom licenses on the basis of a faulty policy and procedure of allocation on first come first serve basis. CAG had estimated a loss of more than Rs. 1.76 lakh crore towards the revenue of the government due to allocation of licenses without an open bidding process. It is clearly observed by the society that several ministers and other VIPs have been undergoing prosecution in this regard. Also it is noted that the government is re-issuing the 2G licenses on Supreme Court Directive and it is expected that a sum of Rs. 1,36,000 crore approximately may be received by the government towards the licenses. This is a direct gain to the Indian treasury arising out of CAG observation.

Coal Block

The CAG has now questioned the manner in which coal mine blocks have been allocated by the government to various private sector organizations on the basis of review by a screening committee and without an open bidding process. CAG has estimated a loss of more Rs.1.86 lakh crore to the
government due to faulty and non transparent process. There is an allegation made by the media that certain parties have been favoured on the basis of political recommendations. It is also alleged that certain companies having no prior track records and without having any captive usage have been
granted the mining leases for providing undue gains to such parties.

Positive outlook

Hon'ble CAG have been doing a very significant professional job in highlighting proprietary and policy issues in respect of government working and it will be important for the government to positively react to such observation by ensuring that transparent and fair processes are brought in
force, wherever any licenses or rights are being allocated. The audit process of CAG ensures an independent review and should be construed as positive critic. A corrective action and punitive process need to be initiated wherever it is appropriate. The coal block mining leases provided to parties will need closer and transparent scrutiny by the government to enable the government to take necessary appropriate action. CAG had also made important comments in respect of PPP Projects including Delhi High Court, few highways etc. Rather than criticising CAG for politicalising the issue or creating unending litigation and / or prosecution, it is very important to take necessary preventive and corrective action in the systems and processes by the government, in consultation with CAG on all crucial matters. Advance consultation with CAG on critical issues will ensure non recurrence of such revelations, embarrassing the government.The profession of chartered accountants is also ready to support the government in designing various systems and procedures which will ensure transparency, integrity, fairness and eradication of corruption.

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