Dear BCAS Family,
I want to commence this message with a very sensitive topic which recently is on the mind of each professional. I am referring to the arrest of two chartered accountants by CGST Gurugram, in connection with an alleged INR 15 crores GST refund scam. A group of 60-70 chartered accountants who had gone to the office of CGST at Gurugram to inquire the reasons of arrest of fellow colleagues, were also illegally confined by locking the doors to the exits of the premises for more than 5 hours. They were ill-treated with abusive language as well as physically man handled. Recently, it has been seen around the country that chartered accountant professionals are projected in some of the cases of financial frauds as the main culprits. However, there is lot of leniency with the actual perpetrators, co-conspirators and beneficiaries of such frauds. The professionals are made scape goats and are becoming soft targets for initiating inquiries and making arrests and projecting them as the perpetrators of such crimes even before the same has been proved in the courts of law.
I do not vouch for any professional who is involved in the wrong doings, but to proceed with inquiries and judicial actions only against chartered accountants and leaving the other stakeholders who are also party to such crimes conveys to the world at large that it is our community only which is perpetrating such activities. There is an expectation of the government, media and public at large that the chartered accountants are in the knowledge of all the financial activities of their clients and they ought to ensure 100% compliance. If there are any misdeeds the initial onus lies with the chartered accountants and they have to be immediately blamed though they may not be in any ways directly involved in such acts. There is a big expectation gap between what the professionals are executing and delivering and what the stakeholders and public at large consider the role of such professionals. There is an urgent need to create awareness of the roles and responsibilities of professionals to all the stakeholders and public at large. The ICAI has initiated this process by holding discussions with Hon. Finance Minister Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman and making her aware of various issues along with the incident at CGST.
The immediate action required is to put in public domain what are the deliverables from various attest functions by the chartered accountants and what are the deliverables from their role as consultants. This will enable the stakeholders and public to understand the expectations through various services provided by them. We as professionals have also to gear up and convey our role to our clients in clear terms with an elaborate engagement letter, to have clarity on their expectations and matching of the same with our deliverables.
I am reminded of my GURU Mahatria Ra's following statement which is on Expectation Management and very apt for us to follow:
"You cannot stand under a mango tree and expect oranges.
What is even more foolish is blaming the mango tree for not fulfilling your expectations.
So, either change your expectations according to the tree or find a tree that matches your expectations."
At economy level, during this month RBI has raised the benchmark repo rate by 40 basis points during an unscheduled meeting. This step is to curb inflationary pressures when there is a spike in retail inflation hitting an eight year high of 7.8% in the month of April. Further, the running away of prices of energy and commodities due to Ukraine crisis is further putting pressure on the economic activities. The government of India is also doing its bit to rein in inflation, by restricting exports of wheat and sugar. It has also cut fuel taxes to soften fuel prices.
The month of May was again a very active one at BCAS with many memorable events. There was release of “Law and Practice of Transfer Pricing in India – A Compendium” by the International Taxation Committee, wherein more than 150 subject specialists have contributed articles. The feather in the cap of BCAS was that during the launch, there was sharing of thoughts by Ms. Mayra O. Lucas Mas on “OECD perspective on Global Developments” and by Mr. Michael Lennard and Ms. Ilka Ritter on "UN perspective on Global Developments". There was also a Panel Discussion on Current and Contentious Issues in Transfer Pricing with eminent panelists Mr. Rajat Bansal and CA T P Ostwal.
Another event which commenced during the month was Direct Tax Home Refresher Course -3 organised by its Direct Tax Committee. This year more professional associations have joined hands with BCAS and there are seven Pan India associations along with BCAS who have organized this course and there is attendance of more than 550 participants from across India. This is truly an achievement and brings satisfaction that BCAS is able to disseminate knowledge to the professionals across India.
During these times of paradigm shifts in the profession, there is guidance required for scaling up services and networking with like-minded professionals to provide cutting edge services and be of relevance. BCAS' HRD Committee successfully orgainsed a full day Power Summit 2022 with the theme "Thriving in a Transformed Hybrid World" with eminent faculties who have gone through the transformational journeys within their organisations. It was appreciated by all the participants and was again a value accretive.
Another event which was organized by youth of BCAS for the young CAs was 9th YRRC. This again was a huge success with two international speakers, an entrepreneur & inventor and an author of best selling book – Corporate Chanakya addressing the participants.
The current month is equally action packed with two Residential Courses. One is 16th GST RSC commencing from 2nd June and another is 11th IndAS RSC commencing from 24th June. Another event worth attending by internal audit professionals is two days Internal Audit Conclave scheduled on 15th and 16th June.
For the students to perform and show their skill sets beyond academics, the 14th Jal Eruch Dastur CA Students Annual Day – Tarang 2022 is organized with Grand Finale on 25th June, 2022 at K C College Auditorium. I would request all the members to send their article students to participate as well as attend the Annual Day in large numbers. This is the platform for youngsters to show case their talent.
I always feel that technology should be an enabler for us to perform better and not to make us slaves of technology. Through the seminars and conferences we have been offering to the members, we have been conscious of the role to enable professionals to be made aware of the latest technologies that can be imbibed for better services. However, at the same time the finer skill sets are also to be nurtured to make us aware that we have to perform much higher role with the use of technology and not surrender to it. I am ending my penultimate message with a quote from my GURU Mahatria Ra which deals with this aspect:
The tragedy of the modern era
is not that computers have started working like men,
but men have started thinking like computers.
Let the human in us not be replaced by a thinking computer.
Please feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
With Best Regards,
CA. Abhay Mehta