MEFICAI Empanelment (MEF 2019-20): Bank Branch Auditors Panel for ICAI Members/ CA Firms

MEFICAI Empanelment (MEF 2019-20): Bank Branch Auditors Panel for ICAI Members/ CA Firms

Professional Development Committee (PDC) of ICAI has invited Practicing Members/ CA Firms for submitting the  digitally signed online Multipurpose Empanelment Form (MEF 2019-20)/ Declaration at the MEFICAI website. Also, signed and scanned copy of declaration/ financial documents were to be submitted.

MEF 2019-20: ICAI Announcement

Multipurpose Empanelment Form (MEF) for the year 2019-20

Practicing Chartered Accountants are invited to fill the Multipurpose Empanelment Form (MEF) for the year 2019-20 at www.meficai.org. The key highlights of the MEF- 2019-20 are:

i) Applicants registered earlier for MEF 2018-19 have to simply login with MEF 2018-19 credentials.

ii) Most of fields are pre-filled and auto-populated from Institute’s records or last year’s MEF.

Please refer to the Advisory while filling the MEF and for any further query/clarification, please lodge your complaint online on MEF portal. If the same is not resolved within 3 working days, may write PDC Secretariat at [email protected] or contact at011-30110444 /440 between 3 pm to 5 pm on working days.

Considering the requests of various Members of ICAI, it has been decided by Professional Development Committee to extend the last date for submission of online Multipurpose Empanelment Form for the year 2019-20 till 30th September, 2019. The last date for submission of Declaration is 30th September, 2019.

Last Date for Submission of MEF 2019-20/ Declaration

Last date for submission of ‘MEFICAI Empanelment’ Application (MEF 2019-20) is 30th September 2019. Further, the Declaration is to be submitted online, latest by 30th September, 2019.

ICAI has advised the Members to fill MEF well in advance to avoid last minute rush. For any query/clarification, please lodge your complaint online. If the same is not resolved in 3 working days, may please contact PDC Secretariat at 011-30110444 /440 between 3 pm to 5 pm.

MEFICAI Advisory on Filling/ Submitting MEF 2019-20

1. MEF FORM

i) The application of MEF 2019-20 will work best on Internet Explorer 10.0/ Mozilla Firefox 7.0 or latest versions.

ii) Applicants who have registered themselves earlier for MEF 2018-19 have to simply login with MEF 2018-19 credentials. They can use “Forgot Password” button to retrieve the password, if forgotten.

iii) Members holding full time Certificate of Practice/Firms existing as on 01.01.2019 can fill MEF Form as this panel will also be available for the assignments other than the Bank Branch Audit.

iv) In case the applicant does not agree with the pre-filled details populated from ICAIs’ data base, the detail (s) as per them can be mentioned in the corresponding field in grey colour it can be submitted through Memorandum of Changes (MOCs). However, the changes will be accepted only after due verification. In addition to green fields (auto filled from ICAI records) certain other fields (in white background) are also autofilled as per MEF 2018-19 (filled by applicants) the applicant should verify them and can also modify the same.

v) 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.

vi) The applicant can take the print of full form (for verififacation at their end) before submission.

vii) It is advisable to provide alternate contact details and also to keep track at the time of commencement of allotment procedure.

viii) 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.

2. 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 Audits of Banks and other assignments. However, the following applicant will not be allotted UCN:

a) Member practicing in his individual name not holding full time CoP and/or associated as Partner/Proprietor/Chartered Accountant employee in any other firm.

b) 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 fulltime CoP.

v) 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

3. ELIGIBILITY

i) Applicants who have minimum continuous standing of 3 years in profession as on 1.1.2019 and fulfilling other RBI Norms would be eligible for MEF for the year 2019-20.

ii) In case, any partner/proprietor/member practicing in individual name who are not exclusively associated from 01.01.2019 to till the date of finalization of panel 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 01.01.2019, 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;

a) Proprietor/Partner and also having Sole Practice (Individual)

b) Proprietor and having more than one Proprietary Concern.

c) Partner/Proprietor/Sole Practice or in Employment other than the Applicant Concern.

v) 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.

vi) 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.

4. 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.

5. 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), not later than 30th September, 2019

6. 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 September, 2019.

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.

7. FINAL PREPARTION OF PANEL

i) In case any of the Partner(s) resigns between 01.01.2019 till the date of final preparation of the panel for submission to RBI i.e. in September/October, 2019, 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 01.01.2019, 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 01.01.2019 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 01.01.2019 till the date of final preparation of the panel for submission to RBI, the same will not be included in the panel.

8. COMPLAINT FILING MECHANISM

i) For any clarification / query / complaint regarding MEF 2019-20, please lodge the same under the tab “MEF Complaint Entry” available at meficai.orgfor 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.

9. OTHERS

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.

New features incorporated in MEF 2019-20

i) Applicants registered for MEF 2018-19 have to simply login with MEF 2018-19 credentials.

ii) Most of fields are pre-filled and auto-populated from Institute’s records or last year’s MEF.

New features incorporated in MEF 2018-19

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.

Allotment of Statutory Bank/ Branch Audits based on ICAI Software (MEF 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.

FAQs on MEF 2019-20

1. APPLICABILITY/ ELIGIBILITY

What is cut-off date for considering the constitution of the applicant for Multipurpose Empanelment Form (MEF) 2019-20? 

As per the Council decision, for Proprietary Concern/ Partnership Firm/ LLP the firm Constitution Certificate and for Individual/ Sole Practitioner Members holding full time Certificate of Practice as on 1st January, 2019 and no condonation of delay in submission of Form 18 beyond 31st January, 2019 is considered. Also refer “Credit & Exclusiveness”.

What are the criteria for the eligibility and the category for Bank Branch Auditors’ Panel? 

Applicants who have minimum continuous standing of 3 years in profession as on 1.1.2019 and fulfilling other RBI Norms (https://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/bs_viewcontent.aspx?Id=946) would be eligible for MEF for the year 2019-20.

2. PROCESS 

If I had registered earlier in MEF 2018-19, do I need to register again? 

The applicants who had registered for MEF 2018-19 can simply login. In case the applicant does not remember the password can use the option “Forgot Password Button”.

What is to be done in case of any applicant has forgotten the password? 

Applicant needs to click on “Forgot Password Button”., the link will be sent to your registered email-id.

What will happen in case email-id has been changed and has forgotten the password also? 

Applicant can register himself by feeding FRN/MRN and Date of Establishment/Date of CoP, as the case may be.

Is the MEF Form pre-filled? 

MEF Form 2019-20 will mention the two types of pre-filled data. Details as per ICAI records which will be static fields (non-editable) in Green colour, any change in any of these fields is to be mentioned in corresponding Grey field. Other details will be populated from last year’s MEF and are editable.

How would I change the pre-filled details in the MEF Form? 

(a) Green Fields are non-editable and are fetched from ICAI records, any change in any of these green fields is to be mentioned in corresponding Grey field or MOC available at MEF Form itself. It may be noted that the changes will be accepted only after due verification.

(b) Other details are populated from last year’s MEF and are editable, so can be modified there itself.

What is Memorandum of Changes (MoCs)? 

In MOC, the applicants can inform their details as on 01.01.2019 which as per them is not the same as appearing in the static Green fields. It may be noted that the changes will be accepted only after due verification.

Whether MEF Form can be saved page-wise? 

 Yes.

Whether draft MEF can be printed for verification before its submission? 

Yes, MEF Form can be printed for verifying before submission.

Whether Applicant can edit the submitted application or not? 

The applicant 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.

3. CREDIT & EXCLUSIVENESS 

When is the Credit given for any Partner/Proprietor? 

In case, any partner/proprietor/member practicing in individual name who are exclusively associated and continuing with the applicant concerned till the time of finalization of RBI Panel, the credit of such partner /proprietor/individual is given to the applicant.

When is the partner/proprietor/member practicing in individual name is considered as not exclusively associated with the applicant? 

(a) Members associated with any other concern (other than Applicant).

(b) Proprietor/Partner and also having Sole Practice (Individual).

(c) Applicant is Proprietor and is having more than one Proprietary Concern.

(d) Partner/Proprietor/Sole Practice or in Employment other than the Applicant Concern.

The above conditions prevailing even on a single day till finalization of panel will lead to non-exclusivity.

What will happen when applicants of MEF having partners in common apply? 

In case of common partner(s)/ proprietor(s) in multiple firms as on 01.01.2019:

i) 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

ii) In case both /all the firms apply, the MEF application of all these firms shall be rejected.

4. UNIQUE CODE NUMBER (UCN) 

What is Unique Code Number (UCN) and how it is important? 

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.

Is Unique Code Number (UCN) allotted to applicants who are not eligible for Bank Branch Auditors’ Panel? 

Yes, UCN will also be allotted to the non-eligible applicants for Bank Branch Auditor’s panel. Their data through UCN is sent to the requisite authorities for other Bank Audits and other assignments. However, the following applicant will not be allotted UCN:

i) Member practicing in his individual name not holding full time CoP and/or associated as Partner/Proprietor/Chartered Accountant employee in any other firm.

ii) 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 fulltime CoP.

What should be done of the Unique Code Number (UCN) allotted to applicant in Individual capacity on forming Sole Proprietary Concern?

Applicant practicing in individual name should continue to use the same UCN in case he forms a sole proprietary concern. If UCN is not appearing in the pre-filled field, please mention the UCN in Grey field/MOCs’. The changes will be incorporated in MEF Database after due verification.

5. MISCELLANEOUS 

Applicant completed four year of Audit Cycle and cooling is applicable at their location (at the 33 centres (viz. Mumbai, Kolhapur, Pune, Solapur, Thane, Kolkata, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi/ New Delhi, Ajmer, Bikaner, Jaipur, Kota, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Raipur, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Panchkula, Panipat, Sonipat, Bangalore, Ernakulam, Indore, Nagpur, Ludhiana, Jodhpur, Bhilwara, and Ghaziabad)., whether applicant need to apply or not?

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. Therefore, applicants need to submit their application along with duly signed (digital signature / scan signature) declaration also should be eligible for Bank Branch Auditors’ Panel.

6. DECLARATION

How can an Applicant submit Declaration

Declaration can 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), not later than 30th September, 2019. Applicant need not submit hard copy of Declaration separately.

Whether Retired/Resigned partner(s) need to sign the declaration?

Signature of Retire/ Resigned partner(s) is not required, only partner as 01.01.2019 and continuing Partner(s) till the filling the form need to sign the declaration. The credit will be given only for continuing Partner(s) who have signed the Declaration Form.

List of Firms appointed by RBI as CSA/ BSA in PSU Banks (2018-19)

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, as under:

RBI List of Central Statutory Auditors (CSAs) of 21 PSU Banks Appointed for FY 2018-19

RBI List of Branch Auditors of PSU Banks 2018-19

Other related items

ICAI’s Guidance Note on Bank Audit 2018 Revised Edition (dt. 11 March 2018)

ICAI’s Advisory for Allocation of Work among Joint Auditors of Banks dt. 6 March 2018

Revised MEFICAI Norms for Firm Category for Allocation of Bank Branch Audit

RBI Norms for Appointment of Bank CSA from 2017-18 onwards

Statutory Bank/ Branch Audit Fee Structure as per RBI: Applicable for 2017-18/ 2018-19

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