Chartered Accountants are the gatekeepers for corporates and should keep away from being part of “murky things”, a senior government official said today amid the clamp down on illicit fund flows.
Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas also urged chartered accountants to work towards changing the perception that they help companies to convert “black (money) to white”.
“Your profession is like a pehredar (gatekeeper) and you have to ensure that you don’t become part of murky things,” he said at the convocation ceremony of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) here.
His remarks come against the backdrop of concerns in certain quarters about chartered accountants at times being part of illegal activities perpetrated by companies.
“I must tell you perception is there and this perception should be changed that chartered accountants help in doing black to white and white to black and do certain things. You are suppose to give correct advise to your clients. You perform a critical role in nation building,” Srinivas said.
Stepping up efforts to curb illicit fund flows, the government has already deregistered more than 2.24 lakh companies that have not been doing business for long. Besides, around 1.2 lakh firms have been identified whose names would be struck off from the official records.
“There are some black sheep also...My point is reputation is being build over a very very long period of time but reputation is destroyed in a minute...I am not saying every shell company is murky, only a small fraction of shell company may be having a suspect kind of functioning,” he added.
The ICAI, set up by an act of Parliament, is an endorsement that CAs perform a critical role in nation building, Srinivas said.
“In this context, the newly inducted CAs should feel empowered but these powers also come with a lot of responsibilities. They should be aware that the Chartered Accountant Act also has built in safeguards to protect the accounting professionals from unnecessary interferences in their work,” he added.