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ICAI President Stresses Technology for Competitive Advantage

ICAI President Stresses Technology for Competitive Advantage

The profession’s reputation over the years was not the result of an accident; rather, it was the result of deliberate and concerted efforts as a partner in nation-building, ongoing national interest initiatives, and a philosophy that mandates quality through continuously enhancing standards and financial reporting practices. The excellent reputation of the institute has been greatly influenced by its dedication to independence, honesty, and quality. The industry has been consistently committed to accuracy, bringing the finest international practices to the nation, and upskilling its workers to meet the needs of technology and sustainability. In the middle of the shifting order, it is assurance standards and audit quality that give clarity between the chaos of the financial value reporting chain, therefore creating value and confidence in the long run.

While we’re talking about professional discernment and aptitude, technology is testing everyone’s professional knowledge. The accounting profession is being prodded by the growing artificial intelligence (AI) paradigm to readapt itself and move towards specialization and activities requiring more objectivity, cognitive capacity, and behavioural skills in order to remain relevant. In this age of widely accessible AI tools, it is crucial to recognize that embracing AI as a partner and exploring its potential to enhance our abilities, rather than posing a threat, is important. An auditor’s irreplaceability stems from their experience, ability to exercise professional scepticism, and proficiency in making the best professional decisions during audits—qualities that no machine, process, or system can replicate. I would request you all to make technology your constant companion in order to get a competitive edge.

Instead of acting as a barrier to the development of our profession, let the current difficult circumstances act as a catalyst. To effectively traverse the evolving realities, it is crucial for the Institute and its members to innovate and adapt. By doing this, we can maintain the competitive edge that has been developed over the course of more than seven decades and is functioning as a role model within society for the profession.

Let’s look at some of the noteworthy changes that have affected the profession:

Discussion with the Honourable Prime Minister

In an interactive discussion held at IFSCA GIFT City on May 12, 2023, with stakeholders and market participants to collaborate and work together in building GIFT City as a Global Financial Hub, I recently had the honour of meeting our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The ICAI pledged its support at the conference and offered many suggestions on how to encourage service exports and make India a top choice for accounting and financial services worldwide. I informed the Honourable PM of the work the ICAI has done to support the MSME ecosystem, promote financial and tax literacy, train GST officials in the states, and other initiatives.

ICAI Network & Outreach Expansion

The ICAI branches play a crucial role since they offer a localized presence, facilitate networking opportunities, and sharing of knowledge, and professional progress. They play a crucial role in achieving the goals of the ICAI and guaranteeing the general growth and welfare of the accounting profession in India.

I am happy to inform you that we have inaugurated two branches of the Central India Regional Council (CIRC) in Bhagalpur (Bihar) and Hanumangarh District (Rajasthan) as authorized via the Council. Now we have 168 branches in our national network. Our first Career Counselling Center was opened at Jorhat, Assam dated 27th April 2023. The opening of the Career Counselling Center shall furnish you with effective visibility and improve the branding of ICAI beyond popularizing the CA Course and furnishing career direction to students.

International Engagements in the Professions

ICAI Global Professional Accountants Convention” (GloPAC) on the theme- “Connecting the Globe, Creating Value” on November 24-26, 2023

As you know the ICAI that it hosts the first-ever “Global Professional Accountants Convention” (GloPAC) on November 24-26, 2023, with the subject “Connecting the Globe, Creating Value.” A major event called GloPAC is being planned to highlight the significant contribution that the accounting industry has made to the nation’s economic and social advancement. GloPAC would offer a special opportunity to network and connect with like-minded people for your progress, whether you are an SMP or working in the industry. At ICAI, we anticipate your enthusiastic involvement and welcome the chance for you to network with international colleagues.

Abidjan, Ivory Coast ACOA – African Congress of Accountants

In a bid to prolong the global reach outreach and increase the brand CA India in the African region, ICAI has been an Affiliate member of the Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA). For increasing the strength of the ties, we associated with the 7th Africa Congress of Accountants (ACOA), a premier event of the Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA) held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast from the date May 15th to May 18th, 2023. Exceeding than 2000 delegates from 54 countries attended the Congress where Myself, CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal, Vice President ICAI, CA. (Dr.) Debashis Mitra, Immediate Past President of ICAI and CA. Sridhar Muppala, Council Member ICAI addressed in distinct sessions.

It is a great pleasure to meet the Hon’ble Mr. Patrick Achi, Prime Minister of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire where he welcomed ICAI to the Africa Congress and expressed his gratitude for supporting the Congress. Adding to the glory, Hon’ble Mr Adama Coulibaly, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, at the time of addressing the consideration of the important contribution of ICAI in making the Congress successful. ICAI have the chance to exhibit the largest pavilion in ACOA wherein the latest initiatives of ICAI were shown and appreciated by the delegates.

Meetings with other accounting bodies were organized on the margins of the ACOA to examine areas of mutual cooperation. We also met with Mr N’Guessan Koffi, Minister of Technical Education, Vocational Training, and Apprenticeship, Ivory Coast to review the education systems in Ivory Coast and to offer ICAI’s support in designing their course curriculum.

Read Also: ICAI Seeks Suggestions to Simplify GST Rules from CAs

ICAI and CA Maldives sign MOU with Cabinet Approvals

I am pleased to tell you that the Union Cabinet, led by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, has approved the Memorandum of Understanding between the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and the Chartered Accountants of the Maldives (CA Maldives). The agreement intends to promote reciprocal cooperation for the growth of accounting knowledge, and professional and intellectual development, advancing the interests of respective members of each institute, and positively contributing to the development of the accounting profession in the Maldives and India.

Meeting of the ASEAN Federation of Accountants (AFA Strategy)

CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal, Vice President of ICAI and CA. Piyush Chhajed, Central Council Member, ICAI attended AFA Strategic Meeting and AFA Council Meeting that has been conducted from 29-30 April 2023. The meeting furnished a chance to understand emerging areas in the accounting arena in the ASEAN region and for developing business or research relations with PAOs.

The Vice President of ICAI also met with Shri Nagesh Singh, Hon’ble Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of Thailand at the time of the visit.

Delegation of ICAI to Estonia and Netherlands

The Committee for Development of International Trade, Services, and WTO (CDITSWTO) of ICAI is facilitating a delegation travel to Estonia and the Netherlands from May 23 to 29, 2023, in response to an invitation from the Estonian Embassy in India. The delegation’s goal was to showcase the strength of Indian accounting professionals in cross-border investments, M&A, mentoring startups, and advising corporations in the areas of taxation, law, and other related compliances by looking into investment opportunities in Estonia through Latitude59 (the flagship program of Startups in Estonia) and the Netherlands.

Dubai visit

Myself and CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal, Vice President, ICAI performed a virtual meeting with ICAI Dubai and Abu Dhabi Chapters dated 21st May 2023 to concern the case of Audit License Examination Exemptions. In pursuance of that, ICAI VicePresident visited Abu Dhabi in order to elaborate on the case of the addition of ICAI for Audit License Examination Exemptions with the other 6 listed institutes and for that concern met with Mr Abdullah Al Hammadi, Director, Auditors Department, Ministry of Economy, UAE, His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Cabinet Member and the Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and H.E. Shri Sunjay Sudhir, Hon’ble Ambassador of India to UAE for effective acknowledgement of the above-stated recognition.

Stakeholder Meeting 

Meeting of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG)

In order to run the agenda for national development, we actively strive to learn from stakeholders as a profession and as an institute. We do this by collaborating closely with them. At the time, Myself and CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal, Vice President, ICAI along with CA. Kemisha Soni, Central Council Member met Shri Girish Chandra Murmu, Hon’ble CAG dated 19th May 2023. In the meeting, discussions were conducted to make the accounting and auditing practices stronger in Urban and Rural local bodies in India.

Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy meet

Indeed, CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal, Vice President, ICAI including ICAI Central Council Members CA. Pramod Jain & CA. Vishal Doshi and Government Nominee Shri Manoj Pandey, IAS, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs met Shri R. K. Singh, Hon’ble Union Minister of Power & New & Renewable Energy engaging with Shri Alok Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Power and New & Renewable Energy dated May 12th, 2023

New Law and Justice Minister meeting

I along with CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal Vice President, ICAI & CA.(Dr.) Debashis Mitra, Immediate Past President, of ICAI, met Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Hon’ble Minister of State (I/C) Ministry of Law and Justice and MoS for Parliamentary Affairs & Culture and sent him best wishes on his new profile.

ICAI Startup Sphere

Recognizing the significance of startups in fostering innovation, economic growth, and job creation, ICAI has been actively involved in promoting and supporting them. The institution has undertaken a number of measures to support and foster the growth of startups since it is aware of the special obstacles they encounter. In this line, the ICAI will host the significant ICAI Startup Sphere event in Mumbai on June 27 and 28, 2023. This event will encourage and nurture the growth of startups, helping the nation to create a thriving entrepreneurial environment.

Expert opinion- Commitment to Quality making

The rise of new-age businesses and the interaction of regulatory and reporting needs are two characteristics of the rapidly changing business environment. The Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AASB) of the ICAI has taken on the task of offering crucial assistance to practising members in surging the audit quality for the Statutory Audit of Entities, via addressing related auditing aspects, in this environment of rising expectations from auditors. An Expert Panel has been created for this goal in order to provide technical assistance and respond to members’ questions on auditing-related issues until September 30, 2023.

ICAI RVO Foundation Day

The 5th Foundation Day Conference of the ICAI Registered Valuers Organisation on the subject of ‘Sustaining Public Interest through Valuation Ecosystem’, was conducted in collaboration with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India in Delhi dated 14th-15th May 2023. Hon’ble Mr Justice (Retd.) Arjan Kumar Sikri, Supreme Court of India, was the Chief Guest and I along with CA. Ranjeet Kumar, Vice President, ICAI addressed the Conference virtually. The event has seen participation from the International Valuation Standards Council (Singapore), Nepal Valuers Association, and Valuation Standards Development Committee (Indonesia).

Enhancing Research and Financial Reporting Excellence

ICAI International Research Awards

Knowledge is what drives our careers. In order to celebrate the research community throughout the world and their commitment to supporting innovation and value creation, the Research Committee of the ICAI has been hosting the “ICAI International Research Awards” since 2020. The previous edition garnered 148 nominations in all from 18 different countries, and it was a big success. The deadline for entries for this year’s prizes is June 30, 2023. Members who have a passion for study should take advantage of this opportunity.

ICAI Excellence Awards Financial 2022-23

The ICAI has consistently promoted the implementation of best reporting practices while working to strengthen and enhance India’s financial reporting systems since its founding in 1949. Since 1958, the ICAI has held several renowned prizes in support of this goal. The “ICAI Awards for Excellence in Financial Reporting 2022-23” retain the tradition of recognizing and honouring exceptional organizations across several categories, and we are excited to announce them. The 15th of October 2023 is the deadline for this year’s application submissions.

Council Decisions of Recent Importance 

We are pleased to inform you that the Council has decided to introduce additional reading rooms in all major districts across the nation, and a comprehensive policy in this regard has been officially approved. This decision was carefully made with the utmost consideration for our students, aiming to provide them with a top-notch education. Furthermore, it has been decided that the CA Foundation Examination will be conducted in December 2023, as per the Existing Scheme of Education and Training while awaiting approval of the new plan.

Moreover, we are delighted to announce that the Council has successfully approved the renewal of MoU/MRAs with esteemed organisations such as the Qatar Financial Centre Authority, CPA Canada, CPA Ireland, the South Africa Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF), and the National Board of Accounting and Auditors (NBAA). It was decided to establish two new representative offices in the United States, notably in Kansas and Philadelphia, as part of efforts to strengthen the profession’s global presence.


As we approach the upcoming CA Day on July 1, which also marks the 75th year of ICAI’s outstanding services to the nation, I cordially invite your valuable suggestions on how we can commemorate this significant occasion in a manner that holds both social and professional significance. The inauguration of the New Parliament House symbolises a forward-thinking approach that is vital for establishing new paradigms. As the existence of ICAI today is the result of an act of Parliament, let us set ambitious new goals and chart new paths with a renewed perspective for our profession. Together, we can contribute towards building a self-reliant India during this auspicious Amrit Kaal.

The growth and advancement of our profession highlight the importance of strategies that endure the test of time, which are rooted in our current commitments and aligned with future needs. To maintain our competitive advantage in the ever-changing environment, we must keep a broad perspective, define our professional goals accordingly, and show resilience, flexibility, and agility.

I’ll end by quoting some wise comments made by Dr Abdul Kalam, Former President of India:

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