While compensation was not uniform across companies, 28 per cent companies paid their company secretary above Rs 25 lakh but below Rs 50 lakh, and 31 per cent were paid less than Rs 25 lakh. The remainder earned over Rs 50 lakh per annum with the Bharti Airtel company secretary earning Rs 4.96 crore.
"The average annual compensation of Rs.50 lakhs reflects the increasing importance for compliance among S&P BSE 500 companies," said a report from CimplyFive Corporate Secretarial Services, which offers research and technology-based solutions for companies to comply with the Companies Act.
The report found that out of the BSE 500 companies only 463 published Secretarial Audit Report in their 2015 Annual Report. Out of these companies 28 per cent of them had qualified Secretarial Audit Reports.
The 463 companies were audited by 272 secretarial auditors, with the top auditor auditing 17 companies, or handled 4 per cent of all BSE 500 companies.
"Based on the number of audits undertaken, the top ranked Secretarial Auditor conducted 17 audits, while the top 5 auditors conducted 64 and the top 10 auditors conducted 100 audits," read the report.
It also found that 71 per cent companies did not make any distinction between financial laws and non-financial laws. However, 18 per cent companies removed non-financial laws from their audit scope while the remainder 11 per cent relied on other professionals.