Advisory with Regard to Compliance with the Website Guidelines of the ICAI

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Advisory with Regard to Compliance with the Website Guidelines of the ICAI

Regard to Compliance with the ICAI Website Guidelines

This is known to the members that the officials have issued the website rules and regulations in 2001, which can be changed with time. The meeting conducted on 6th and 7th February 2020 for the changed guidelines in 388th official meeting will appear on page 143 of volume-II of code of Ethics 2020, which can be accessed on the website of the institute at https://www.icai.org/resource/60018code-of-ethics-2020vol2.pdf. The recommendations are also mentioned on the website of Ethical Standards Board i.e. esb.icai.org.

The Clauses (6) and (7) of Part-I of First Schedule to The Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 (“Act”) bar solicitation and advertisement, respectively. Website guidelines have developed so that they will not get against clause 6 and 7. 

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An individual is obligated to act according to the council’s mentioned guidelines procuring clause 1 of part-II in the 2nd schedule of the act. In case of non-compliance with guidelines issued by the council will be considered as professional misconduct as per the terms of the provisions mentioned in the above clause. 

The reference might also be implemented to the announcement issued by the institute in March 2014 which is present on the website of the institute at https://www.icai.org/post.html?post_id=10584, in which it is mentioned that the members must not share details for Chartered Accountant for the determination of ranking. 

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Below is the prohibited feature which needs to be taken care of by the people for the firms and on the websites of memes:

(1) Mention of Names of clients / Client Logo

(2) Writing of Firm name in a manner tantamounting to Logo/Monogram

(3) Mention of Professional Fees, or fact of providing services free of charge

(4) Using Photographs other than passport style, including Event galleries of Photographs

(5) Use of expressions such as “Leading Firm”/”Best Firm”/ “Top Firm”

(6) Claiming to have liasoning with Government offices

(7) Mention of activities forming other business or occupation, which are not allowed to members in practice e.g. Real Estate, Health, etc.

(8) Mention of activities forming other business or occupation allowed to members in practice e.g. reference of Books authored, teaching activities by the member concerned, etc. (since the website can be utilized for mentioning professional services of members only, and not of other business /occupation carried out by him)

(9) Mention of activities which exceed the purview granted to members in practice e.g. “Arrangement of Loans” (the members in practice are permitted to act as Financial Adviser in terms of Regulation 191 of Chartered Accountants Regulations, 1988)

(10) Links of organizations which do not fall under permitted categories e.g. of a commercial Company

(11) Videos other than educational videos e.g. Firm profile, canvassing for Elections etc.

(12) Mentioning subjective claims e.g. “having presence/associates in big cities”, “have well-equipped Conference Room”, “best quality services in the market” etc.

(13) Mentioning CSR contribution/donation done by the Firm

(14) Mentioning any kind of affiliation with any national or international organisation e.g. United Nations

(15) Mention of any award(s) as may have been given to the CA Firm

(16) Mention of any kind of grading granted to the Firm by any organization (including a Regulator) or a survey agency e.g. “Tier 2 Firm”

(17) Mentioning of a particular role instead of professional service e.g. “Training” (which may be provided to existing clients w.r.t a professional service, but cannot be mentioned as a service)

(18) Professional services of the Firm mentioned in push mode/ the website running on a push model of technology

(19) Mention of media coverage of Firm

(20) Mention of association of the member with the Institute e.g. as a Special Invitee in a Committee of the Institute

(21) Mentioning testimonial with client name

(22) ISO Certification or any other certification or accreditation (it is allowed for CA Firms to have ISO certification, but the same cannot be mentioned)

(23) Using Logo of a Government Department or scheme e.g. of Startup India

(24) Mention of updates which do not fall under the category of professional updates e.g. relating to movies, National and International News

(25) Mention of empanelment with any organisation, whether for Audit or any other assignment

(26) Mention of engagement of the Firm in social activity(ies)

(27) Mention of features like “why choose us” on the website

(28) Mentioning association/reference of any other Firm(s), wherein the proprietor or partner of the Firm may be a partner

(29) Advertisement of any commodity, service or entity.

The members are needed to note that the above guidelines mentioned on the website must be noted and eliminate all before-mentioned contents and characteristics so are not in agreement with the said Guidelines.

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