ICSI proposes ceiling on Issuing Secretarial Audit Report and Annual Return
As per draft guidelines, ICSI has proposed the ceiling on issuing a Secretarial Audit report by a practicing member to a maximum of 5 companies in a financial year and upper limit of Signing/certification of annual return by a practicing member has been fixed at 80 Companies in aggregate, in a financial year
Breach of specified ceiling to be deemed as professional misconduct
Practicing member who issues Secretarial Audit Report in respect of more than 5 Companies and/or Signs/Certifies Annual report of more that 80 companies in aggregate in a Financial Year, would be deemed to be guilty of professional misconduct Ceiling in case of a firm of Company Secretaries
In case of a firm of Company Secretaries, the ceiling of five companies in case of issuance of Secretarial Audit report and eighty companies in case of signing/certification of Annual Return would apply to each partner therein who is entitled to issue Secretarial Audit Report pursuant to Section 204 of the Companies Act, 2013 and/or sign/certify an Annual Return pursuant to Section 92 of the Companies Act, 2013.
Editor’s comment: The Guidelines have been issued in supersession of the Guidelines (‘old guidelines’) issued on 27th November, 2007 by council for Issuing Compliance Certificate and Signing of Annual Return. Earlier, as per the old guidelines the ceiling for issuing compliance certificate and signing of Annual Return was fixed at 80 companies in aggregate in a calendar year. Under new guidelines the ceiling on signing/certification of Annual return has been kept same as old guidelines however, the time limit criteria has been changed from ‘Calendar year’ to ‘Financial Year’