The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) recently made an important announcement regarding the cut-off date for the Bank Branch Auditors Panel (MEF 2023-24). This change, approved during the ICAI Council’s 421st meeting on 25th and 26th May 2023, has significant implications for chartered accountants and CA firms across the country.
Understanding the Current Process
Every year, the ICAI’s Professional Development Committee (PDC) prepares a Multipurpose Empanelment Panel of Chartered Accountants and CA firms based on a multi-layered logic. This panel is then provided to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other relevant entities. Until now, the cut-off date for determining the constitution and status of the firms and their members was 1st January of each year. The submission of Form 18, which contains crucial information, was accepted until 31st January without requiring condonation of delay.
The Shift to a New Cut-Off Date: 1st July
With the availability of a real-time database of firms and members in the ICAI’s Self Service Portal (SSP), the Council of the ICAI has decided to change the cut-off date for the preparation of the Bank Branch Auditors Panel. The new cut-off date will be 1st July instead of 1st January. This change aims to streamline the process and enhance efficiency.
Implications for MEF for FY 2023-24 and Beyond
As a result of this decision, the constitution and status of the firm and its members will now be considered as of 1st July (i.e. 1st July, 2023 for FY 2023-24). The submission of Form 18 will be accepted up to one month after the cut-off date, until 31st July (i.e. 31st July, 2023 for FY 2023-24), without requiring condonation of delay. This extended cut-off date will also be applicable in subsequent years.
Aligning with RBI Guidelines on MEF
It’s worth noting that the Bank Branch Auditors Panel will be prepared in accordance with the revised guidelines issued by the RBI for the Appointment/Re-appointment of Statutory Branch Auditors of Public Sector Banks. These guidelines, released on 6th March 2023, will provide the framework for the selection process of auditors.
Action Required by ICAI Members
ICAI members who are seeking MEFICAI empanelment for allotment of Bank/ Branch audits should take note of this change and ensure compliance accordingly. It is essential to update the necessary information and submit Form 18 within the revised designated timeframe to be considered for the Bank Branch Auditors Panel for FY 2023-24 and subsequent years.
The ICAI’s decision to change the cut-off date for the Bank Branch Auditors Panel from 1st January to 1st July marks a crucial shift in the selection process for chartered accountants and CA firms. This change, approved by the ICAI Council, aims to improve efficiency and accuracy by leveraging the real-time database available through the Self Service Portal. Members seeking MEFICAI empanelment are advised to adhere to the new cut-off date and ensure timely compliance with the submission of Form 18. By aligning with RBI guidelines and implementing this change, the ICAI strives to enhance the overall effectiveness of the Bank Branch Auditors Panel selection process.
ICAI Announcement dated 30/06/2023: Revised Cut-Off Date for Bank Branch Auditors Panel (1st July)