Nihar Jambusaria, President, ICAI
Besides need to align with auditing standards norms, Covid also part of the reason, says ICAI Chief Jambusaria
Practising Chartered Accountants will now have more time to generate Unique Documentation Identification Number (UDIN) for every document or report certified by them. This is because the Central Council of the CA Institute decided on Friday to increase the time limit for generation of UDIN to sixty days from the date of signing of the auditor’s report or certificate, as against 15 days now allowed. “With this decision, we have aligned the time limit for UDIN generation with that of the 60 days level specified in our Standards on Auditing and Standard on quality control. Everybody wanted uniformity between the two and central council agreed to it”, Nihar Jambusaria, President, ICAI told BusinessLine.
Jambusaria, however, highlighted that a chartered accountant would have no option but to provide UDIN in situations where the respective regulator or other stakeholders require UDIN immediately on signing or within a specified period.
Also, a UDIN so generated has to be communicated to “Management” or “Those Charged with Governance” for disseminating it to the stakeholders from their end, the ICAI has now ruled.
It maybe recalled that UDIN as a concept took off around July 2018 to primarily help banks and regulators have a mechanism to check the authenticity of various documents certified by practising chartered accountants. UDIN — which is the only such initiative in the world—aimed to tackle the menace of forged certifications of financial statements and documents.
The new UDIN system— which went live from July 1,2018 – is now mandatory for ICAI members. This would help the ICAI and the chartered accountants trace forged/wrong documents prepared by any third person in the name of chartered accountants, as a person other than the chartered accountant will not be able to upload the documents on the UDIN portal. All the CA institute members would have to register the documents certified by them and get them secured.
G Sekar, Chairman Audit And Assurance Standard Board, said that the 60 days decided by the council for UDIN compliance as per Standard on Quality Control (SQC1) is great relief both for the auditees and the auditors. This is going by the size of the nation, distribution of professionals geographically, and the nature of auditees in our country, he said.
Ultimately, the objective of UDIN is to avoid certification by fraudulent persons who are not chartered accountants, he noted.
Sekar noted that most of the registered companies are very small and whose net worth is below ₹ 1 crore and managed by closely held group. They get their financial statements very near to the due date period.