1. The Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), at its 359th meeting held on September 16-17, 2016 considered an issue regarding the difference in requirements relating to the auditor’s rotation under the SQC 1, “Quality Control for Firms that Perform Audits and Reviews of Historical Financial Information, and Other Assurance and Related Services Engagements” issued by ICAI vis-à-vis the Companies Act, 2013. At the meeting, the Council noted the following points:
- In case of audits of listed entities, Paragraph 27 of SQC 1 requires rotation of engagement partner after a pre-defined period normally not more than seven years (emphasis added).
- Since SQC 1 is applicable from April 1, 2009, the provisions regarding the rotation of engagement partner would be due from April 1, 2016 as per SQC 1 during the transition phase.
- Since the Companies Act, 2013 is applicable from April 1, 2014 and the existing companies have been given relaxation of 3 years to comply with requirement of auditor’s rotation, the provisions regarding auditor’s rotation would be due from April 1, 2017 as per the Companies Act, 2013 during the transition phase. Hence, there is a difference of 1 year in the requirement of auditor’s rotation between SQC 1 vis-à-vis the Companies Act, 2013 during the transition phase of implementation of the Companies Act, 2013.
2. On consideration of the matter, the Council decided to issue a clarification on the issue and provide relaxation in the requirement of rotation of engagement partner given in paragraph 27 of SQC 1 for the transition phase (i.e. one time only for the financial year 2016-17).