The Council of Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) has reviewed the existing limit for issue of ‘Secretarial Audit Report’ by ‘Practicing Company Secretaries’ (PCS). The Council has also issued set of FAQs to clarify questions relating to the limits of Secretarial Audit. The key takeaways from revised limits are enumerated hereunder:
1. 10 Secretarial Audits allowed per PCS for F.Y. 2016-17 : The Council has fixed 10 Secretarial Audits per partner/Practicing Company Secretary (‘PCS’) for financial year 2016-17.
Additional 5 Secretarial Audit Reports for peer reviewed unit : The council has allowed PCS to carry out an additional 5 Secretarial Audits in case he has been peer reviewed. With regard to queries as to whom the 5 additional secretarial audit reports would be allowed-whether to individual partners or the practice unit as whole? And whether there is any overall cap on limit on issuing of Secretarial Audit Report? The council clarified that the limit of 5 additional secretarial audits of Peer Reviewed Unit is to be considered as 5 secretarial audits for each individual partner, subject to overall limit of 15 secretarial audits per individual
A peer review certificate is granted to ‘Peer reviewed practice unit’. A practice unit can either be an individual or a firm of Company Secretaries."
3. Time period for which practice unit is to be certified : The guidelines of peer review of attestation services require mandatory peer review of every practice unit to be carried out atleast once in block of 5 years and for the purpose of taking up additional 5 secretarial audits, the validity of peer review certificate should be 5 years from date of issue of certificate.
4. How to identify if a unit is peer reviewed : In order to address this issue the Council