G Ramaswamy has taken over from Amarjit Chopra as the president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). Jaydeep Shah has been appointed vice president and will take over the presidency in a year.
In his first initiative as president, Ramaswamy called for a change to India’s corporate law so that fines up to INR10m ($220,143) can be imposed on erring audit firms in response to the Satyam Computer Services fraud of 2009.
At present, the ICAI has the power to punish individual auditors but can not take action against audit firms.
The ICAI is one of the most powerful national accounting bodies in the world. In addition to its qualification activities, the ICAI is also an audit regulator and national standard setter. In 2010, the body had 166,258 members and 726,578 students.
Ramaswamy qualified as a chartered accountant in 1984 and has experience in tax, company law, audit, internal audit and management consultancy. He is also a fellow member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI).
Shah is the ICAI Ethical Standard Board chairman, ICAI Financial Reporting and Review Board chairman and vice chairman of the ICAI Capacity Building and Small & Medium Practioners Committee.
Meanwhile, at a recent ICAI annual conference, Chopra said the ICAI achieved a lot in the past year, including completing the convergence process with IASs and IFRSs and being designated as the nodal agency for IFRS education in the country.
Other highlights are:
- Strengthening the accounting and financial system in different tiers of the Indian Government including providing training to the officials at Central and State level;
- Strengthening the accountability in various Government schemes;
- Launching live virtual classes for providing quality education to CA students;
- Launching an e-Sahaayataa facility to provide prompt services to members and students; and
- Issuing a unique code for members in practice.