The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), as the regulator of the accountancy profession in India, has always been committed to partnering in nation-building and providing services to the Indian economy in the public interest. With the constantly evolving business environment, the role of auditors has increased manifold. In view of the changing ecosystem, the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AASB) of ICAI has recently taken a commendable step to enhance audit quality by providing necessary technical and professional support to practicing members with respect to audit issues.
Formation of Expert Panel to Address Audit Queries
The AASB has formed an Expert Panel to provide technical support to its members who have queries or concerns on statutory audit aspects, issues, or concerns. This Panel will address queries on auditing aspects from 17th April 2023 till 30th September 2023. Members can send their queries via email to the Expert Panel at email@example.com during this period. The Panel is headed by CA (Dr) Sanjeev Kumar Singhal, Chairman, AASB, ICAI and CA Vishal Doshi, Vice Chairman, AASB, ICAI.
Members are specifically informed that the views expressed by the experts would be their personal views and not necessarily the views of the AASB or the ICAI. Further, the AASB, ICAI, or the members of the Panel do not accept any responsibility for actions taken by the querists based on such advice. These views are not to be used as evidence in any non-judicial/quasi-judicial/judicial proceeding before any authority. Depending upon the nature of the query, the Board reserves the right not to answer the query without any further intimation/notice/email and without assigning any reason thereof.
Guidelines for Sending Queries to Expert Panel
To ensure that the Expert Panel can provide the best support possible, members are advised to follow certain guidelines while sending their queries. These guidelines include:
i) Be Brief: Members should be brief while sending their queries but provide all relevant information and facts.
ii) Confidentiality: Members should not mention the name of the client or entity to avoid problems of violating client confidentiality requirements under the ICAI Code of Ethics.
iii) Avoid Rejoinders: Members should avoid sending rejoinders to the Panel’s replies.
iv) Do Not Send the Same Query Twice: Members should not send the same query twice.
v) Draft the Report: Members should draft the report on their own.
vi) Use Own Judgment: Members should use their own judgment while proceeding with the technical advice provided by the Panel.
The initiative taken by the AASB of ICAI to form an Expert Panel to provide technical support to its members with respect to audit issues is a commendable step towards enhancing audit quality. This support activity should be provided on a regular basis for small and medium-sized practitioners even beyond the period of 30th September 2023. However, members should exercise their own judgment while proceeding with the technical advice provided by the Panel, as the views expressed by the experts would be their personal views and not necessarily the views of the AASB or the ICAI.
ICAI Announcement dt. 17/04/2022: Expert Panel for Addressing queries related to Statutory Audit pertaining to Auditing Aspects