19 January 2009

Members Views on Satyam Fiasco

So here are the response from members. I have compiled as it is unedited. The only thing I have done is to cut and paste and put in the same font and font size. Hope this will provide memebrs insight into what members thinks. Its discussion within fraternity and needless to say without prejudice or malice towards any individual or firm, big or small.
 
So here it goes:
 

Anil Todarwal:

I am not in practice,but I understand that since last one decade any company approaches for finance they are told that if they want finance they have to change the auditors to the big FIVE and give all the work to the recommaded BIG FIVE.In this way the small and medium chartered accountants were thrown out who  resorted to other business for survival.

 

Why dont you take up this matter bring back good and intelligent small and medium chartered accountants back into the noble profession.

 

The big FIVE firms are more like commission agents for finance and not professional chartered accountants.

 

I hope this matter is taken up and CAs are appointed not by the wishes of the directors or the financial institutes .

 

K. V. Jose:

There should be a rotation of auditors/ auditors firm in every three years to have more independency on auditors, it can be for listed companies and its branches, factories etc.

 

Paresh Zatakia:

Only the permanent (though not full proof) solution to problems of auditors turnig blind eyes is APPOINTMENT OF STATUTORY,TAX,REVENUE,CONCURRENT ETC ALL AUDITS SHOULD BE BY SYSTEMATIC RANDOM SELECTION (THAT ALSO TO CHANGE VERY YEAR).

 

HOW CAN PERSON BE EXPECTED TO BEHAVE INDEPENDTLY WHEN APPOINTMENT OF AUDITOR IS IN HANDS OF AUDTEE?

 

WHY THIS ISSUE HAS NOT BEEN TAKEN UP BY PROFESSIONAL LEADERS IS A BIG QUESTION MARK?

 

WAMAN DAMLE:

The firm, PW has downgraded our profession. They should be punished heavily; and should not be allowed to continue their profession in India.

Anybody, with his eyes, ears open, and with his brain working, can find out such a big fraud. Materiality is a very important aspect of audit work. If you can not unearth such a big fraud, you are negligent; and if you have purposely kept mum, you should be behind the bars.

 

Manish Tibrewal:

So much cry over Raju, but auditors very well know that how much cooked the financial affairs of indian entities... Some even advise so... Its time to wake up and service the nation instead of cheating it. We should either live up to our brand or wait for the black day..

 

Dinesh Vaidya:

As per my views. One or more auditor(s) may be appointed by the co. in it's AGM as per co. law
and One or more auditor(s) for HO and branch(s) may be appointed by SEBI / BSE / NSE or any govt. body maintaining panels for the same as per size and requirements of the co.. Initially this should me made compulsory for all listed and other companies having more then specified share capital or turnover or bank loans.

Sanjay S.Rathi:

This type practice always create suspicious on all CAs who work hard and honestly

 

Sandeep Morab :

It is really pathetic that such renowed audit firm Price Waterhouse is charged of such gross negligence of duty.

ICAI should really take very strict action against the auditors, if found guilty, and not bow down considering that the

firm is one of the BIG 4.

 

 

Sridhar Santhanam:

As per the existing rules and regulations of the institute, it is likely that our  institute will only penalise the Chartered Accountant signing the accounts and the firm in which he/she is a partner will remain untouched. It is needless to state that the entire firm has had a share of the hefty fees (Booty) obtained from a client and enjoyed for seven years. Is it now reasonable to let go the firm of CAs unscathed? Mind you - Satyam was charged 3 times the fees charged for larger companies like Wipro and Infosys.Some can call it a penalty paid by a client who did something wrong. Did the firm PWC not realise that Satyam is giving windfall gains to PWC and that something must be wrong? Definitely they and their Parent firm in the USA knew  but preferred to turn away.

It is very common knowledge that Managers in  big CA firms get incentives for the fees collected by them from clients managed by them and therefore greater the problems made aware or created by the concerned Manager for the clients,the larger the fees and therefore larger their commission. In the process the quality of work can get compromised. As long as this unethical race exists there are bound to be more and more scandals surfacing that will show CAs in awkward situations like in the Satyam episode.And mind you many companies may be waiting in the queue for another Satyam to happen.  Hope the existing loopholes in the laws and regulations are plugged very soon and reforms be introduced. 

Rotational audits for quoted companies should be introduced like it is done for Banks and Govt audits so that no CA gets lax with the clients.

 

 

Prof. V. K. Sapovadia, IIM:

 

There is urgent need for specific corporate governance norms for family based business houses. The norms should take care of and specific, if promoter held 25% or less, 50% or less & 75% or less stake in a company.

 

There must be coordination among various government agencies. Those who are responsible for monitoring performance (SEBI, auditors etc.) should be made accountable and be provided training for fraud detection. There must be speedy disposal of investigation, adjudication process. Penalty must be servere, deterrant and absolute. In many cases the penalty is Rs. 500! Penalty for violation of Accounting Standard must be harsher. Only disciplinary action by ICAI for auditor is not sufficient.

 

Special economic vigilance branch should be really vigilant and must be made accountable in case of failure. Accountability in all cases should be result into punishment to top executives & not scap-goats. On basis of volatility in stock prices, a watch on company performance & reporting should be undertaken.

 

To prevent speculative transaction, there must be Security Transaction Charge and that should be deposited in special Value Kinetic & Safety Fund (not as a tax by government), meant for using this perpetual fund by company in future to bailout genuine economic crisis. The fund should not be in hands of promoters, but under high power committee made up of professionals & top executives, experts etc. This fund may be used as bailout company in trouble, but not a fraud.

 

Achal Dass:

I am interested in knowing that what is happening of PWC. How they failed to get the insight of such a huge scam. Were they involve and if yes what action institute is taking against them.

 

 

Nikhil Zaveri:

Why nobody is questioning the role of the internal auditors??? Who were the internal auditors???? Why no mention is found of them or their role in this scam in any media /news item?? They are suppose to question such Hugh cash in current account & the reconciliation between TDS & interest recd/accrued.

 Indirectly we are giving the consent to nationalization of our "noble profession"

 

Ulhas Chitale:

Here, we are also accepting that presently we are not transparent in reporting as expected by the statute, due to fear of loss of client.

 

Nidhi Lalpuria:

We have not yet heard from the auditors hence we should not be so
harsh and decide their future. First let us know what it is. They are the fellow members .One of us can also someday step in their shoes. Since we do not know any facts we should not jump on conclusions and till then support our fraternity.

 

Nikhil Khetan:

PwC has disgraced our profession. Being from audit back-ground, I can say bank balance cannot be inflated without help of auditor. And inflating it at such extent shows how money hungry that partner might be. PwC is smart enough... they will held one partner as responsible and sack him... though there is system of quality review by other partners.. what happened in GTB case... PwC is still in existence in india . Hope there is strict action this time ..

 

LLSONI:

pwc should be imdd. banned fron doing business in india

their licence must be recall

 

 

Dharmendra Somaiya:

Short and Sweet Please note that,   

1. We as CAs should not worry about whole thing and what happen, what was wrong ? Why gone wrong ? VERY FIRST, Check the role of auditor and punish him,  Govt is tacking all other actio, and for Social matter, Sebi matter it will also be adressed by the concerned Authorities. 

2. Ban on the Firm not only the Signing CA, if found guilty..

3. If bank balance inflated even though bogus certificate, It could be check by cross veryfying with Bank Statement,   if Bank interest is wrong than  Interest income credit could also be checkd in statement,  The TDS could also be check...

4. So,  looking to the matter it seems that,,,,, mostly Auditor is in fault and Directly involved if the Matter if it is as in the Statement... (COPY ATTACHED). Please find attachement of Raju's confession..

 

P.Chatterjee:

Today the news article states that steps will be taken against the CAs who did the audit of Satyam if they are found guilty. In such case Partner/s who signed the accounts should be equally guilty. People will lose all faith in the system of audit.  If found negligent or guilty, exemplary action must be taken. Big names must be made to pay more.  

 

Vasant K Bhat:

The said type of audit engagement could be made applicable to only listed companies or companies having turnover above certain limit. Otherwise, I feel it may be a burden on the ICAI.

 

 

Virendra Joshi:

Any Auditor with reasonable audit checks can very well detect the fraud of the size/magnitude of Satyam. Cash balance is the easiest item to verify physically or can be verified with the bank statement. One can not digest that without involvement of all concerned one single man can do the fraud/misrepresentation of this magnitude. 

 

Laxmi Mittal:

It is a shocking news to hear that one of so called 'big 5 ' firms exploded & too an error in cash , Bank balance, overstatement of revenues , interest accrual w/o verification of form 16A / cross verification of third party account , which is a basic need for the certification of a simple Balance Sheet of even a smaller size.

Upon quizzing CA Ved Jain on 7th by CNBC 18 on 7th /8th , he was red faced , but to add the shame of profession , he confessed that he will involve the fraud firm in deciding the peer review.

All members are elected by us . Now a days it becomes a fashion to spend in the elections like a political  leader furiously.

The above practice should by stopped forthwith or else the MCA will not hesitate to take over ICAI also.

 

Kamal Moondra:

This is all about member's in practice what about members in industry? Though CFO's are responsible but without any authority they are simply in the service and at the disposal of CEO/Managing Director . Like wise what about the other members who are working under CFO , there authority including responsibility also needs to be defined and have some protection under the companies act.The ICAI has yet to commence the guidance for members in industry.
 

Tushar Bhatt:

I fully agree with you and this will create independence and no risk of removal and thus brings quality assurance in audit functions.

 

Jigar Masalia:

One of the way to increase auditor's independence would be to not allow auditors to provide any consultancy or advisory services to the clients to which it provides attestation services. It is usually seen that auditors with attestation function gets more money in the from of fees from consultancy / advisory services than usual attestation services. This fact tempts / influences auditors not to question / involve in a conflicting situation with the clients in case of potentially grave audit issues.

 

S.Ashok Kumar:

The media is damaging the image of auditors more and more on satyam case.  The action of  one  auditor is damaging the entire CA Community.  The following are the questions raised on my mind, if any body has answer, kindly reply:

1.For Global Trust Bank - NPA case, When RBI is immediately banned the PWC for 2 years, not to audit any bank, why CA Institute is taking so long to take decision on this issue.  The case is still pending with the Disciplinary committee of ICAI.

2.When Companies Act, restrict to vote on the Board of Directors Meeting for interested Directors and needs to disclose the interest of Director.  Whether the CA Institute has the such integrity and Independency on the ground that, "the two central council members are senior partners of PWC (Mr S. Gopalakrishnan and Mr Harinderjit Singh)and Mr Gopalakrishnan signed the 2006-07 balance sheet of Satyam".  If both of them have high integrity they should resign the central council member immediately after the news of satyam scandal.  When one of the Independent Director, Mr.Rammohan Roa, resigns as ISB Dean after the satyam scandal, why the two senior partners of PWC on the Central council of ICAI has not resigned from Central council of ICAI ?  Whether the PWC is guilty or not, to make the independency of the central council of ICAI, they should be resigned.   If they have not done, ICAI should suspend till the case is dismissed from the disciplinary committee.

Based on the above, the PWC is taking the shield of ICAI from the corporate scandal of Global Trust Bank and Satyam case.  When the disciplinary case is going on against the PWC, how the two partners of PWC can be appointed as Central Council member of the ICAI?

The above is purely the doubt arising on my mind with regard to integrity of CA member and not for against the PWC.

 

 

CHIRAG S. GANDHI:

At the end of the day it is not what the institute guidelines or act or regulation but it is the self - governance , satisfaction and principle helps an individual,company and society for better governance. According to me though i am a CA i feel that ICAI institute has become more like an Indian government from last couple of years, where people are interested in serving there own interest rather than of the members, society. If we give the appointment of auditors and fees structure to ICAI i am sure it would be an another government of INDIA where you will find all the partners of the firm seating to get better assignment.I am sorry to use this words i know that all the group members are like professional brothers, but that's the fact and no one can deny it.

 

If you look at the past all our Indian well renowned firms have merged with big four only few like N.C.Mehta, Bansi Mehta (few example) are left. India is on a stage where the world is looking for a major growth and chances for our country becoming a super power is not far.If that's the future, why can't we CA excluding the big four start creating our own identity which is recognized world over and come with best practices which the world should adopt rather than we adopting them.

 

Vandan Jhaveri:

The suggestions given by you are really welcome suggestions but thing is that,
who will implement it. ICAI or Govt will wait till such amendments will be made in USA Accouting system, than after 5 years they will implements it. till than we should have to wait for more satyams and GTB.

 

Anil Jalihal:

Alternatively, ICAI can become one big auditing firm and we can all become employees of the "Big 1", right?

Prakash Mehta:

First action should be bare price waterhouse to have any audit assignment .It will restore confidence in corporate world towards Auditors and it will send strong signal to Indian Auditors.

 

G. BALASUBRAMANYAN:

I am not able to agree to the suggestion. By doing show we will be shifting our responsibility to another group. Profession is not to be Nationalized.

Binank Patel:

Mr. Dushi, I liked your concern for the overall credential of such great professional body and its members but I am disagree at some point. Why should we need to have ICAI between Auditors and Companies. Why there should be any price norms or any kind of limitation in the performance of job. We are in the profession and everyone should have right to expand it.

 

In the case of Satyam, five people have made whole world fool and we are talking about taking steps on all the professional Auditors. Everyone are not like that. There are hundreds of Auditors who give best of the best services and they should be paid for that. Now, if one man is doing wrong, everyone else should not suffer for that. On the contrary , we should considere ourself responsible for tolerating such a weak enforcement system and we should really comeout with the passion to make real changes in the Law Enforcement System. Yesterday, Ketan Shah did scandal, Today Raju did  and tomorrow someone else. But what the public is doing. Just gossip for two days and forgive third day.

 

We are a professional prople and we know that.. But now we need to confront who we are for the country and for the general mass. Are we the same small individual or committed citizen of India.

 

Today we have threat from terrorism, scandals, economic crisis and so more. How long we keep blaming people and system for that? Why dont we just become a good citizen and make a demand from the people whom we have elected.

 

You can never stop scandals but yes you can create a feal of consequences which one would go for if they do something wrong.

 

I hope you will not take me otherwise. I am also a citizen of India and want to make a change. Why whole public should suffer for five terrorist or five auditors.

 

Let's bring transformation...Let's live freely.

 

Chintan Dave:

I, Chintan Dave (member of ICAI) live in New York City,USA and have been closely monitoring financial turmoil across the world. I really appreciate the idea of establishing the independence of auditors and thereby possibly try to avoid such frauds and maintain faith of general public in our noble profession. The ICAI already maintains different panels for appointment of auditors based on verious crieterias including but not limited to experience of members.

However, I am not in favour of any further idea of establishing another panel of auditors and giving new audit assignments to members based on their experience simply because of following reasons.

(1) It is not true that auditors's of Satyam Computers were only young professionals. They may, in fact, be senior members of ICAI.

(2) One cannot statistically quantify professional competency of member solely based on the experience. In fact, young chartered accountants may be more updated in latest developments.......

(3) We live in the 21st Centuary, where increasingly economies are becoming more and more Capitalistic and the new mantra is " Survival of the Fittest ".

(4) There are thousands of fresh Chartered Accountant who become member of our Institute, and majority of them join industry. I would love to see even bunch of young chartered accountants starting practice. However, your idea may ditter young chartered accountants from starting practice.

In view of above, I have an opinion that any further efforts of allocating even audit assignments to member of ICAI based on seniority will absolutely ditter young, budding chartered accountants from entering into practice.

These are my views, I invite more comments on this issue. Don't get me wrong, I have full faith in senior members's competency and also have enormous respect for them.I am even open to constructive criticism of above ideas. I support any other mechanism to ensure independence of auditors and thereby preventing other scandals in corporate India in future.

 

Sandeep Deshpande:

This is a good suggestion. we need to check how we can implement it in lieu of the changes in statutes that would be required and also in the Institutes rules.  deposition of fees & payments, instead of ICAI can be paid by govt /Sebi for all listed companies  based on share capital / volume of transactions. Also for such large companies just one aufit firm may not be a correct solution. it is worthwhile to appoint 2 -3 firms and they could auidt different segments like a consortium and the lead consortium partner can be defined.

 

Surendra Mehta:

Pl read following carefully before giving unwanted and uncalled suggestion.
 
a. Don't unnecessarily balmce the Auditors.
b. Auditors have to rely on third party evidences.
c. The Fraud in Styam was happeong since last 3650 (365days*10years). Out of 3650 days auditors may have attended satyam office only for 300 days but company with 53000 employees must have atelast 25-30 Accounting staff including GM Accounts, CFo etc. MD or Chairman necever prepare b/s. The B?S are always prepared by this so called 25-30 accounting stgg, GM accounts and CFo. They are main culprits as they cheated the whle world for 3650 days.
d. IF CFo has not seen Bank FD, how did acountant passed the entries for TDS and Interest receivable?.
e. Was TDS certificate also fake produced before Auditors?
f. Was Bank Interest certificate also fake placed before Auditors?
 
I fully agree that their was Auditors fault but v all including media need to understand whther it was willful default or not?
 
Media and press need to understand the Auditing law before balming Auditors.
 
CHORI KARE KOI AUR BHARE KOI.

 

Dhananjay J. Gokhale:

ICAI can maintain a panel jointly with SEBI for listed companies similar to that of Nationalised Banks and the Statutory Auditors of listed companies are rotated every year.

 

CB Dushi:

I see opportunity in this. All members should come out with suggestions on auditing practices, although primary objective of auditing is/was never to unearth frauds. However some basic auditing practices even can unearth blatant lies in the financial statements such as verification systems of Balance sheet items through third party confirmations. Whatever may happen to all who are involved in the scandal the doubts created in the mind of public at large can not erased very easily. Even if the ICAI comes out with stringent norms to avoid repeat telecast of "Satyam", how are we going to restore the faith in auditors in the mind of general public, bankers, tax authorities and other government organizations. I have few suggestions on appointment of auditors, if independence of the Auditor is to be genuinely protected

1)       Let the ICAI maintain panel of auditors

2)       It should classify panel according to the experience of each member and partners of the firms

3)       Fees structure should be finalized and should be in the hands of ICAI

4)       Auditees should deposit fees with ICAI

5)       Based on the experience and other credentials of Auditors, ICAI should allot audits every year, so that rotation, like bank audits, can be made effective.

6)       Auditors should give report to ICAI and ICAI, in turn, forwards the same to members of the company.

7)       ICAI pays fees to members.

 

The above system may help the auditors to be more clear and transparent in reporting without fear of loss of client. Ultimately CA profession is a noble profession and not a business expandable beyond one's capacity.



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2 comments:

  1. Anonymous8:23 PM

    Harinderjit is a crook. He should be sacked immediately.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous12:15 PM

    It is so easy to blame someone..to point fingers at someone..and when that someone is big..it becomes a big issue...this has always happened in india..We talk about Price Waterhouse being a part of the whole mess....but we also are aware of the laws of the land, if we as CA's talk about the fraud without considenring the laws which govern the audits in india, then..i dont think we are any different than any other guy who thinks the fudging of figures is the Auditor's Responsibility...Who told us that Price Waterhouse did not check bank statements and confirmed bank balances??, who told us that they did not check fixed deposit receipts?? We are still unaware of the work done by them and so..i dont think it is right for us to talk about the accused this way...let the reports by the concerned investigation agencies do the talking...there are thousands of CA's employed by Price Waterhouse..there are so many qualified assistants working on the audit of Satyam..all those CA's are not fools..doubting so many fellow CA's in their duty is not right..let the investigation do the talking...

    ReplyDelete

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