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ICAI in turf war with internal auditors body
April, 17th 2007

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India is now engaged in a bitter turf war with its rival, Institute of Internal Auditors-India.

The ICAI has moved the Registrar of Companies (RoC) and also petitioned the Union government to prevent the auditors institute from forming a corporate body in India that, it fears, would led to undermine the powers of chartered accountants.

The RoC has, in turn, written to the body promoted by IIAI, called the Northern India Internal Auditors Association, on March 26 raising several objections and threatening to cancel its registration if it is not satisfied with the reply.

One of RoC's charges is that the body has been formed with a "profit motive and in order to avails (sic) certain exemptions" and that Section 25 of the Companies Act, under which it was registered, applies only to bodies serving the public interest.

The NIIAA, in its reply, has contested the RoC's charges as "unfounded.

"Airing of baseless allegations is a pointer towards ulterior motives, where neither the complainant has any cause of action nor material. In the absence of above, the allegation (is) tantamount to misusing the government machinery," the reply said.

Confirming the development, ICAI President Sunil Talati said "We have complained to the RoC and to the ministries concerned requesting them to cancel registration of Northern India Internal Auditors Association which has been formed by IIAI."

"We believe internal auditing is the sole prerogative and core competency of a chartered accountant. No other professional body should be allowed to provide such services," Talati said.

The president of the IIAI, Dinesh Bahl, confirmed that he has received the RoC letter. "We have received the communication where RoC has raised several questions, all of which have been satisfactorily answered," he said.

"The ICAI Act has clearly laid down the activities that a chartered accountant can perform. The regulation of the profession of internal auditing is clearly outside the scope of ICAI. We have said this in our reply," Bahl said.

Bahl, in his reply, has "vehemently denied" that the NIIAA is a profit seeking body. "No material has been placed on record to show that the purpose of the company is profit motive," the reply said.

Bahl has also denied the charge that NIIAA seeks to award degrees or diplomas similar to those issued by ICAI. "The memorandum seeks to obtain IIA Inc's permission to hold Certified Internal Auditor exam in India. This exam is already being held in the country for the last 25 years by IIA Inc. No degree is awarded by any organisation concerning internal auditing in India"

"We had earlier called on the president of ICAI and have met him and other council members of the institute and none of them has ever mentioned of their discomfort with the proposed activities of NIIA," Bahl said.

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