MEFICAI Empanelment (MEF 2018-19): Final Bank Branch Auditors Panel for Practicing Members of ICAI/ CA Firms
Professional Development Committee (PDC) of ICAI invited Practicing Members/ CA Firms for submitting the digitally signed online Multipurpose Empanelment Form (MEF 2018-19)/ Declaration at the MEFICAI website. Also, signed and scanned copy of declaration/ financial documents were to be submitted. Certain new features have been incorporated in MEF 2018-19, as detailed here-under:
i) Acceptance of digitally signed or uploading the declaration duly signed by all continuing Partner(s) / Proprietor of the firm or Member practicing in individual name.
ii) Introduction of Grey Fields in front of pre-filled fields (in Green) to facilitate the applicant to fill the data in case he differs with the pre-filled details instead of submitting Memorandum of Changes (MOCs). The same will be accepted by ICAI after due verification.
iii) Shortlisted applicants would upload the Financial Documents on the MEF application itself.
iv) Registration in MEF only after verification through One Time Password (OTP).
v) System generated SMS and Emails at the time of registration, submission of MEF and other important communication from PDC.
ICAI’s Expert Panel for Queries/ Issues relating to Bank/ Branch Audit 2018-19
ICAI has announced to provide email/ online support facility during 1 April to 15 April 2019 to Members/ Firms thru an Expert Panel to resolve queries/ issues arising out of Bank/ Branch Audit 2018-19 for expeditious completion thereof.
The bank audit season is around the corner. Given the fact that the banking industry is typical in terms of its geographical and customer spread, the volume and varied nature of products and services offered, coupled with the strict constraints for completing the audits, the members, many a times, face a lot of issues/ queries while conducting Bank Branch Audits. These could include determination of NPA status, implications of complicated data found in a branch audit, unavailability of any relevant RBI circular, implications of the requirements of RBI circular, nature and adequacy of documentation, possible wordings of the audit report on some important matters in bank branch audit, reporting on Long Form Audit Reports, Ghosh and Jilani Committee recommendations, special purpose reports and certificates, etc.
With a view to support our members for fast resolution of such queries, the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AASB) is pleased to offer an Online support to our members from April 1st, 2019 till April 15th, 2019 for the bank branch audits for the year ended 31st March 2019. The queries can be sent at [email protected].
Allotment of Statutory Bank/ Branch Audits based on ICAI Software (FY 2018-19)
Appointment of auditors of public sector (PSU) banks/ branches for FY 2018-19 will be based on a software which has been developed by ICAI, i.e. allotment of bank-branch audits for FY 2018-19 will be made using web-based automated software, to ensure uniformity in allotment of audit besides being fair, transparent and equitable.
Also, the new procedure will suitably address the concerns of ICAI and Professionals regarding the autonomy of banks in the selection of bank-branch auditors.
Final Bank Branch Auditors Panel (MEFICAI Empanelment MEF 2018-19)
ICAI has forwarded the Final Bank Branch Auditors Panel of CA Firms/ Members to RBI for allotment of bank audits for the year 2018-19 (MEFICAI Empanelment). RBI has reviewed/ approved the Branch Auditors panel and respective banks have started sending emails to audit firms offering branch audits, as per updates received on 3 March 2019. Applicants are advised to keep checking their emails for next 1-2 weeks. Earlier, the Draft Bank Branch Auditors Panel (MEFICAI Empanelment MEF 2018-19) was hosted for Review/ Complaints, before sending to RBI.
Last Date for Submission of MEF 2018-19/ Declaration
On 20 Aug. 2018, the ICAI has extended the last date for submission of ‘MEFICAI Empanelment’ Application (MEF 2018-19) from 21 Aug. 2018 to 5 Sept. 2018, in view of Kerala Floods. Further, the deadline for online submission of declaration has also been extended from 31 Aug. 2018 to 10 Sept. 2018:
However, on 5 Sept. 2018, the ICAI has further extended the last date for submission of ‘MEFICAI Empanelment’ Application Form (MEF 2018-19) from 5 Sept. 2018 to 10 Sept. 2018, in view of requests from Members. However, the deadline for online submission of declaration has not been extended, i.e. Declaration and Financial Documents are to be submitted by 10 Sept. 2018 only.
Complaints/ Issues/ Queries relating to MEF 2018-19
For any other query/ clarification, please lodge your complaint/ concern online. If the same is not resolved within 3 working days, please contact PDC Secretariat at [email protected] or 011-30110444 /440 between 3 pm to 5 pm.
Further, as per ICAI Announcement dt. 14 Aug. 2018, for any other query/ clarification, you can contact CA Mohit Gupta at 8510816214 and Mr. Manish Bhardwaj at 9818906346 or 011-30110444/ 440 and may also lodge your complaint online on MEF Application itself.
FAQs on MEF 2018-19
Do I have register/ re-register for MEF Application 2018-19?
Yes, you have to register in MEF 2018-19 once/ again, even if you have registered in earlier year(s). Your user id/ password as per previous registration will not work.
How can I register in MEF 2018-19?
For registering, you have to follow the process: i) Click on “Register”; ii) Select the type of Applicant: Sole Proprietor/ Partnership/ LLP/ Individual; iii) Depending on the type, applicant will have to enter MRN and Date of Birth/ FRN and Date of Establishment; iv) System will validate FRN/ MRN and DOB/ DOE and after successful validation, applicant will require to fill Email id and Mobile number (enter the Email id and Mobile number which are active); v) One time password (OTP) will be sent at above contact details; vi) Applicant will fill the OTP and press the button “Verify OTP”; vii) On verification, applicant will enter a password for this application and confirm the same; viii) And then click the “Register” button; ix) You will be registered thereafter and will enter into the MEF application automatically; x)For next time onward, you have to login by entering MEF No./ FRN/ MRN and Password.
How can I start filling MEF 2018-19?
After registration an applicant will directly enter into MEF Application- Advisory will open and on clicking “Next“, Page 1 of MEF Form will open. Every applicant has to register in MEF 2018-19 once and thereafter will automatically enter in the application immediately.
Once registered, an applicant can enter into the Application by clicking at “Login” by entering MEF No./ FRN/ MRN and Password. The form will proceed by clicking at “Next” button at the bottom or selecting the desired page from the tool bar at the top.
Do I have I to fill the whole form at one go only?
The application provides the facility of saving the single pages. So an applicant can fill the form as per his convenience and save page-wise by clicking the “Save” button at the bottom of each page. The saved pages can be edited any number of times before the Final Submission of the Form.
Can I verify my Form before Final Submission?
Yes, an applicant can take a print of the complete form for verification by clicking at “Print Application Form” and after his satisfaction can finally submit the Form.
MEFICAI Advisory on Filling/ Submitting MEF 2018-19
The MEFICAI has issued an Advisory for guidance of Members/ Firms, filling up MEF 2018-19, as under:
A. MEF FORM
i) Browser Compatibility: The application of MEF 2018-19 will work best on Internet Explorer 10.0/ Mozilla Firefox 7.0 or latest versions.
ii) Eligibility: Members holding full time Certificate of Practice/ Firms existing as on 01.01.2018 can fill MEF Form as this panel will also be available for the assignments other than the Bank Branch Audit.
iii) Submitting Data Different than Pre-filed in MEF: In case the applicant does not agree with the pre-filled details from ICAIs’ data base, the correct detail(s) in the corresponding field in grey colour can be filled or submitted through Memorandum of Changes (MOCs). The changes will be accepted only after due verification.
iv) Modify/ Save Pages before Submission: The applicant can fill the information page-wise in MEF and save the respective page(s). He/ she can edit/ modify the information filled in the pages saved any number of times before submission of MEF, but once submitted, the form cannot be edited.
v) Print MEF: The applicant can take the print of full form (for verifying) before submission.
vi) Correct Contact Details: Email id(s) and Mobile number(s) are fetched from Institute’s data, applicants should re-verify and mention the contact details which are in use as all related correspondence will be done through the same.
vii) Alternate Contact Details: It is advisable to provide alternate contact details and also to keep track at the time of commencement of allotment procedure.
viii) Password: Confidentiality of password is sole responsibility of the applicant and all care must be taken to protect the password by changing it frequently and maintaining the secrecy of the password.
B. UNIQUE CODE NUMBER (UCN)
i) UCN is allotted to all eligible Firms/ Members (first time applicant) at the time of preparation of the Bank Branch Auditor’s Panel.
ii) UCN facilitates in compiling the applicants’ bank audit experience, therefore, an applicant must ensure that correct UCN appears in MEF.
iii) If UCN has been allotted earlier, but not appearing correct in the pre-filled field, please mention the same correct UCN in Grey field/ MOCs’. The changes will be incorporated in MEF Database after due verification.
iv) UCN will also be allotted to the non-eligible applicants for Bank Branch Auditor’s panel so that their data can be sent to the requisite authorities for other Bank Audits and other assignments. However, the following applicant will not be allotted UCN:
v) Member practicing in his individual name not holding full time CoP and/ or associated as Partner/ Proprietor/ Chartered Accountant employee in any other firm.
vi) In case of firm, if none of Partner/Proprietor is exclusively associated with the firm i.e Partner/ Proprietor should not be Partner or Proprietor of any other firm and/or not holding full time CoP.
vii) Applicant practicing in individual name should continue to use the same UCN in case he forms a sole proprietary concern. If UCN was allotted earlier in Individual capacity same will be incorporated in MEF Database after due verification
i) Applicants who have minimum continuous standing of 3 years in profession as on 1.1.2018 and fulfilling other RBI Norms would be eligible for MEF for the year 2018-19.
ii) In case, any partner/ proprietor/ member practicing in individual name who are not exclusively associated with the applicant concerned, the credit of such partner/ proprietor/ individual will not be given to the applicant.
iii) In case of common partner(s)/ proprietor(s) in multiple firms as on 01.01.2018, if only one firm applies then the same will be eligible for empanelment for MEF, but the credit of common partner(s)/proprietor(s) shall not be given. In case both/ all the firms apply, the MEF application of all these firms shall be rejected.
iv) Members associated with more than one concern as indicated will not be treated as exclusively associated with the applicant concerned;
v) Proprietor/ Partner and also having Sole Practice (Individual)
vi) Proprietor and having more than one Proprietary Concern.
vii) Partner/ Proprietor/ Sole Practice or in Employment other than the Applicant Concern.
viii) The period of compulsory rest of two years after completion of four years of continuous branch audit will not be counted if applicant does not fill the MEF Form and hence will not be eligible for Bank Branch Auditors’ Panel.
ix) Criteria of Categorization, Rotation and Resting are as per the prevailing norms issued by Reserve Bank of India and are subject to change from time to time.
D. EXPERIENCE OF BANK AUDIT
i) The experience gained in the capacity of Articled/ Audit Assistant or paid employee/assistant should not be included in the Audit experience while mentioning the audit experience in MEF.
ii) Statutory Central Auditor performing as a Branch Auditor of a bank for the same year would be considered as a one year experience only.
E. SUBMISSION OF DECLARATION
Declaration is to be submitted online containing digital signatures of all (the continuing) Partners/ Proprietor/ member practicing in individual name. Alternatively, the scan copy of the declaration duly signed all (the continuing) Partners/ Proprietor/ member practicing in individual name can also be uploaded (for partners who have not digitally signed) within 10 days of submission of MEF but not later than 30th August, 2018.
F. SUBMISSION OF FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS
i) As per the decision of the competent authority, PDC is calling Financial Documents (FDs) from the shortlisted applicants of MEF and if the shortlisted applicant fails to submit the desired FDs, such application will not be considered for the preparation of the panel.
ii) Such shortlisted applicants will be compulsorily required to upload the Financial documents after submission of MEF Application Form by clicking the icon “Upload/ View Financial Documents” (will appear only for the shortlisted applicants) or by submitting in hard copy latest by 30th August, 2018.
iii) The Financial Documents to be submitted are as below for:
a) Firms- Partnership / Sole Proprietor/ Individual practicing in individual name- ITR, Computation of Income and Financial Documents of the firm.
b) Partner(s)/ Sole proprietor- Personal ITR and Personal Computation of Income
G. FINAL PREPARATION OF PANEL
i) In case any of the Partner(s) resigns between 01.01.2018 till the date of final preparation of the panel for submission to RBI i.e. in September/ October, 2018, the same will be given effect. In other words, the credit will be given only for continuing Partner(s) who have signed the Declaration Form.
ii) The credit will not be given for those Partners who have joined subsequent to 01.01.2018, even through merger. However, those partners’ credit will be given next year, if continuing in the same firm.
iii) In case of any paid Chartered Accountant resigns between 01.01.2018 till the date of final preparation of the panel for submission to RBI and another paid Chartered Accountant joins during the same period, category as mentioned on acknowledgement will remain unchanged.
iv) In case, the Firm is closed between 01.01.2018 till the date of final preparation of the panel for submission to RBI, the same will not be included in the panel.
H. COMPLAINT FILING MECHANISM
i) For any clarification/ query/ complaint regarding MEF 2018-19, please lodge the same under the tab “MEF Complaint Entry” available at www.meficai.org for quick resolution.
ii) Query/ complaint can be lodged by using MRN/ FRN by the applicant and on successful lodge, a Complaint number will be displayed which can be used for future reference.
iii) Applicant can view the status of complaints by using MRN/ FRN. All the complaints lodged by the applicant would be looked into by PDC Secretariat.
iv) In case, the complaint is not resolved within 3 working days, members can write at [email protected] or call at 011-30110444/ 440 between 3 PM to 5 PM on all working days.
i) Applicant appointed as Statutory Branch Auditor cannot be associated with the same Bank or any of its subsidiaries/ associates as Concurrent/ Internal/ Income and Expenditure/ Revenue/ Stock Auditor or Accountant etc. of the bank/ branch of banks.
ii) The Institute reserves right to call for additional information including financial documents, annual financial statements, income tax & service tax returns and such other documents, from the applicant as may be considered appropriate.
iii) While all efforts are being taken in preparing the panel, in the event of any inadvertent mistake or omission, the Institute will not be responsible in any manner.
iv) The Institute does not undertake any responsibility with regard to the allotment of audit.
v) Members are advised not to correspond directly with the authorities concerned on matters related to empanelment.
List of Firms appointed by RBI as CSA/ BSA in PSU Banks (2018-19 and 2017-18)
RBI has published the List of Audit Firms approved for appointment as Central Statutory Auditors (CSAs)/ Branch Statutory Auditors (BSAs) in 21 Public Sector (PSU) Banks for the financial year 2018-19 and 2017 18, as under: