New Delhi, May 25 (FN Agency) Markets regulator Sebi is looking to appoint auditors for conducting forensic audits of financial statements of listed companies as part of efforts to curb frauds. In recent months, Sebi has ordered forensic audit of certain companies. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has invited applications from eligible CA (Chartered Accountant) firms ‘for empanelment to take up assignments relating to forensic audit of financial statements of listed companies’, according to a public notice.
Spelling out the eligibility criteria, Sebi said the applicant should have at least 10 years of experience in the field of audit or forensic audit, and minimum of 10 partners or directors, out of which five of them should be actively involved in forensic audit-related work. ‘Application shall not be considered where disciplinary action or proceedings have been initiated against the applicant, its partners or directors, by any regulatory body or court of law,’ Sebi noted. Besides, the applicant should have employed at least 20 persons (full time) having relevant qualification, experience and expertise in the field of forensic audit.
The applicant should have had experience of undertaking at least 15 forensic audits in past three years and at least three such audits should have been undertaken upon assignment by the regulatory body or government agency or public sector enterprise. In addition, total revenue of the firm from forensic audit assignments in the last three financial years must be at least Rs 1 crore. Interested entities can send their applicants to Sebi within 21 days, as per the notice issued on May 21. In October 2020, Sebi asked listed companies to make disclosures about initiation of forensic audit to stock exchanges as part of an effort to address the gaps in availability of information.
Under the framework, listed entities need to make disclosures about the fact of initiation of forensic audit along with the name of the entity initiating such audit and reasons for the same, if available, to the stock exchanges. Further, the companies are required to disclose about final forensic audit report, other than for forensic audit initiated by regulatory or enforcement agencies, along with comments of the management, if any.