The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is planning to introduce standards for forensic accounting and investigation that entail quality benchmarks and procedures that would make the collection of evidence withstand a high level of legal scrutiny.
“There are a large number of investigations going on today and we find that many times forensic reports are not admissible in the court of law...This can be addressed by putting standard practices in place for such accounting which do not exist currently,” said Atul Kumar Gupta, President, ICAI.
ICAI will issue draft guidelines by end of December to invite public comments and seek views of MCA, Sebi, RBI, CAG and various investigation agencies as well.
In a press statement ICAI said that these standards would give ICAI members “a good overview of the forensics and investigations, how to undertake projects and assignments in these areas, how to conclude the work completed, and finally how to report findings to its stakeholders.”
“The project of developing (this) is an outcome of extensive discussions within the ICAI on the need for the CA community to curtail its dependence on overseas literature and Standards, and instead develop its own set of intellectual property along the lines of the government’s vision of an Atmanirbhar Bharat,” Gupta added.
ICAI said that these standards will also be useful to the law enforcement agencies, corporates, banks and other stakeholders to appreciate the common practices and understand finer nuances of conducting forensic accounting and investigation engagements. “Forensic Accounting and Investigation Professionals will be able to contribute in judicial proceedings as experts.”
These standards, ICAI said, will be principle-based and stipulate certain basic but mandatory requirements to be fulfilled by members who undertake such assignments.