Free Press Journal

Cos can soon choose accountants, secretaries from one entity


New Delhi: Companies will soon have a reason to cheer as plans are on anvil to set up multi-disciplinary partnerships that offer services of audit, cost accounting and consultancy, among other services, under one roof. The three professional institutes that represent chartered accountants, cost accountants and company secretaries are discussing the broad contours for setting up multi-disciplinary partnerships (MDPs).

“What is required is that all three institutes to come together and set out certain internal procedures and rules as to which institute will register such firm, how this firm will be called. There are administrative issues which need to be adjudicated between the three institutes. We have one co-ordination committee which is looking into the issues,” ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) President Manoj Fadnis told PTI.

The proposed entity can be a partnership firm under the Indian Partnership Act or an Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) under the LLP Act. According to Fadnis, the idea is that a chartered accountant, cost accountant and company secretary, among others, can practice by becoming partners and provide services as part of one entity.

The idea follows changes made in the Companies Act, 2013 whereby a firm, with majority of members as chartered accountants, can be appointed as an auditor. In previous law — Companies Act, 1956 — a firm can be appointed as an auditor only if all its members are chartered accountants. Such a provision did not allow setting up of multi-disciplinary partnerships.

“We are working very fast from our side. We would like to do it as fast as possible. One meeting happened in March and next meeting is scheduled this month,” Fadnis said.