Do auditors — facing flak for endorsing falsified accounts in the Satyam scandal — have enough time to do their work properly?
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), trying to save the profession’s credibility under assault this year, has underlined the need to give central statutory auditors sufficient time to prepare audit reports.
While the current fiscal year is drawing to a close and most banks would start announcing their financial results in the next one month, the Reserve Bank of India is yet to release the list of auditors for public sector banks. The institute is set to take up the issue with the RBI and ask the regulator to provide at least 15 working days to prepare audited reports for public sector banks. Currently, auditors get only about five days to prepare the audit reports of these banks.
“The time given to auditors is insufficient to prepare the these reports and they must be given more time as the PSU (public sector) banks have a vast network all across the country. It is not possible to prepare audit reports in a few days,” a member of the ICAI told Hindustan Times.
The member said that with limited time to prepare the reports, auditors make do with whatever information they are provided.
The institute is of the view that there should be no pressure on banks and companies to announce their financial results. “This time-frame for working out the records puts added pressure on the auditors,” the member said.