MEFICAI Empanelment (MEF 2020-21): Final Bank Branch Auditors Panel for ICAI Members/ CA Firms

ICAI has prepared the Final Panel of CA Firms/ Members for Bank/ Branch Audit (Financial Year 2020-21), which will be sent to RBI on 09/02/2021.

ICAI Announcement dt. 07/02/2021: Final Bank Branch Auditors’ Panel of Chartered Accountants/ Firms for the year 2020-21

Members are hereby informed that Final Bank Branch Auditors’ Panel of Chartered Accountants/ firms for the year 2020-21 has been hosted at www.meficai.org till 8th February, 2021 thereafter the same will be sent to RBI.

The Panel contains the following:

1. MEF No.

2. FRN No./ MRN No.

3. Concern Name

4. Unique Code No.

5. District

6. Sate

7. Category

ICAI Announcement dt. 16/01/2021: Draft Panel for Category of MEF Applications 2020-21

MEF Applicants can visit at https://meficai.org/ to view the category and other information related to their MEF Application. It may be informed that the category displayed is subject to the verification of Common Partners and checking of Financial Documents by the Auditors. The observations, if any, will be communicated separately.

Any comments/ observations on the details and category can be shared by the MEF Applicants at https://app.meficai.org/complaints latest by 20th Jan., 2021, thereafter no submission for the MEF 2020-21 will be considered.

MEFICAI Advisory on Filling/ Submitting MEF 2020-21

Last date for submission of online Form and Declaration is 10th November, 2020

1. MULTIPURPOSE EMPANELMENT FORM (MEF)

i) Applicants of MEF 2020-21 have to login with MEF 2019-20 credentials. However, they can use “Forgot Password” button to retrieve the password, if required.

ii) The applicant who has not filled MEF 2019-20 will be required to register for MEF using FRN & Date of Establishment for Partnership Firm/LLP/Proprietary Concern and MRN & Date of Birth for those who wants to apply as an Individual.

iii) Members holding full time Certificate of Practice and Firms existing as on 01.01.2020 can only file MEF.

iv) Member practising in individual name but having Proprietary concern should apply only as Proprietary Concern FRN.

v) MEF Application displays the information related to Firm, Members, Partners, Paid CA Employees as per ICAI Records as on 1st January 2020 is displayed in green color fields which are non-editable.

vi) Any change in any information being displayed in green fields will be considered in MEF Application only if the same is reflected in ICAI’s Records as per SSP. Applicants may inform such changes in Grey color fields, which can be considered after due verification.

vii) Information as per last year’s MEF (for those who have applied) is displayed in white color fields. This is an editable field and applicant should update the details, wherever required.

viii) MEF can be filled and saved page-wise and can be edited multiple times before submission of MEF, but once submitted, it cannot be edited.

ix) Before submission, the form can be downloaded and printed for thorough checking.

x) 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 its secrecy by not sharing it with others.

2. ELIGIBILITY FOR BANK BRANCH AUDIT PANEL

i) The applicant will get the credit of the partner/ proprietor/ member only if she/ he is exclusively associated with the applicant from 01.01.2020 till second verification*.

ii) In case, the firms are having common partner(s)/ proprietor(s) as on 01.01.2020 and only one firm applies then the same will be eligible (subject to meeting other norms), but the credit of common partner(s)/ proprietor(s) shall not be given. In case both/ all the firms apply, the MEF of all these firms shall be rejected for Bank Branch Auditors panel.

iii) The details of the common partner (s) and their association in firms and/ or practising in Individual name/ Sole practice will be shown after logging for MEF.

iv) Members associated with more than one concern as indicated below even for any one day during 01.01.2020 till second verification* will not be treated as exclusively associated with the applicant concerned:

a) Member is not holding full time CoP

b) Proprietor/ Partner is also having Sole Practice (Individual)

c) Proprietor having more than one Proprietary Concern

d) Partner/ Proprietor/ Sole Practitioner is in employment

e) Proprietor/Partner is also partner in any other concern

v) Members are advised to fill MEF during the period of compulsory rest (cooling period) also, else that period will not be counted for completing the period of 2 years of compulsory rest and hence will not be eligible for Bank Branch Auditors’ Panel even after 2 years (Please refer RBI Norms for Cooling Stations).

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.

3. UNIQUE CODE NUMBER (UCN)

i) UCN will be allotted to all first-time eligible applicant Firms/ Members after due verification and submission of Declaration.

ii) The applicants who are not eligible for Bank Branch Auditor’s panel will also be allotted UCN so that their data can be shared with various authorities seeking the panel for other Audits of Banks and other assignments. However, the following applicants will not be allotted UCN:

a) Members practicing in their individual names:

I) having no full-time CoP and/ or

II) associated with any other firm as Partner/ Proprietor/ CA employee.

b) In case of firm:

I) If none of the Partners/ Proprietor is exclusively associated with that firm

II) Any Member who has been allotted UCN while practicing in individual name should continue to use the same UCN even on forming sole proprietary concern (This may be mentioned in grey field). The UCN will be incorporated after due verification.

4. EXPERIENCE OF BANK AUDIT

i) The experience gained in the capacity of Articled/ Audit Assistant or paid employee/ assistant is not to be included while mentioning the audit experience in Question 5 of MEF.

ii) The experience of Statutory Central Audit and Statutory Branch Audit of various banks (as per RBI guidelines) in a year would be considered as a one-year experience only.

5. SUBMISSION OF DECLARATION

i) For this year, the Declaration for the MEF will be sought from the member/ partners/ proprietor through validation of One Time Password (OTP) instead of scanned/ digital signatures as was done in the past.

ii) OTP will be sent to the Email-id and Mobile Number as registered in SSP of ICAI.

iii) Any modification required in email or mobile number, has to be done in SSP only. No such changes would be allowed in MEF.

iv) The Declaration will be valid only if OTP is validated by all the partners/ proprietor/ Member practicing in individual name. In case, even one partner has not validated, the MEF application will be rejected. However, in case of the partner(s) who has retired/ left between 01.01.2020 till second verification* all such modifications have to be done through SSP of ICAI.

iv) It is desirable that the draft MEF application before submission should be shared with all the partners internally for their perusal so that they are able to validate the declaration through OTP. If any partner desires to upload his Financial Documents in MEF, he can do so by taking the login credentials from the designated partner.

6. SUBMISSION OF FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS

i) The Financial Documents are to be submitted by all the applicants of MEF (Firm and continuing Partners), failing which the application cannot be submitted.

ii) The applicants are required to upload the financial documents before the submission of MEF by clicking on the icon.

iii) The following Financial Documents for Financial Year 2018-19 are to be submitted:

a) Partnership Firms:-

A. For Firms-

I) Income tax Return Acknowledgement along with soft copy of the complete IT return

II) Statement of Computation of Total Income of the Firm

III) Balance Sheet of the Firm as on 31st March 2019 along with Schedules

IV) Income & Expenditure Account of the firm for the year ended 31st March 2019 along with Schedules

B. For Partners-

I) Income tax Return Acknowledgement along with soft copy of the complete IT return

II) Statement of Computation of Total Income

b) Sole Proprietor / Individual practicing in individual name:-

I) Balance Sheet as on 31st March 2019

II) Income & Expenditure Account for the year ended 31st March 2019 along with Schedules

III) Income Tax Return Acknowledgement along with soft copy of the complete IT return

IV) Statement of Computation of Total Income of the member

iv) Regarding Presumptive Taxation scheme, an option has been included in the Financial Documents Tab in MEF for the members to select while submitting Financial Documents. There is no requirement for submitting the Financial Statements i.e. Balance Sheets and Income & Expenditure Account for the applicants who have opted for the Presumptive Taxation Scheme under Section 44ADA of Income Tax Act, 1961 and have filed their ITR accordingly for the financial year 2018-19.

v) Applicants may be required to submit further details, if any by PDC.

7. FINAL PREPARTION OF PANEL FOR BANK AUDIT

i) In case any of the Partner(s) retires/ leaves between 01.01.2020 and second verification* the same will be given effect. In other words, the credit will be given for continuing Partner(s) only.

ii) The credit will not be given for those Partners who have joined after 01.01.2020, even through merger. However, credit for those partners will be given next year, if continuing in the same firm.

iii) In case of any paid Chartered Accountant resigns between 01.01.2020 till second verification* and another paid Chartered Accountant joins during the same period, category will remain unchanged.

iv) In case, the Firm is closed between 01.01.2020 till second verification*, the name of such firm will not be included in the panel.

8. FIRMS WITH COMMON PARTNERS

i) Out of the Multiple firms with Common Partners, one firm can apply for Bank Branch Auditors’ Panel while rest of the firms can apply for other Panels (other than Bank Branch Auditors’ Panel) by indicating their option as “Application for other than BBA Panel”. A unique number will be allotted to such firms.

ii) In case, more than one firm has applied for BBA Panel, the firms other than the firm which wants to remain eligible for BBA Panel have to withdraw MEF for BBA. However, such firms will be considered for other Panels.

9. COMPLAINT FILING MECHANISM

i) For any clarification / query / complaint regarding MEF 2020-21, please lodge the same under the tab “MEF Complaint Entry” available at 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.

iv) In case, the complaint is not resolved within 5 working days, members can write at mefpdc@icai.in or call on the following numbers (between 3 PM to 5 PM on all working days by quoting Complaint Number):

Mr. Vishal Agarwal 9911539260 
Ms. Smriti Tandon 9990900123 
Mr. Manish Bhardwaj 9818906346

10. OTHERS

i) PDC hosts draft MEF Panel after due announcement so that the applicants can verify their category and other details. Any observation in the draft Panel can be brought to the notice of PDC through Complaint Module of MEF.

ii) 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 etc. of the bank/ branch of banks. However, the applicants will be eligible for Statutory Branch Audit provided she/ he resigns from the stated assignment (s).

iii) The Institute reserves right to call for additional information/ documents from the applicant as may be considered appropriate.

iv) 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.

v) The Institute does not undertake any responsibility with regard to the allotment of audit.

vi) Members are advised not to correspond directly with the authorities concerned like RBI, NABARD etc. on matters related to empanelment.

*Second verification:- It is the second verification of data done by PDC for finalization of panel which is normally done in the month of October/ November.

FAQs on MEF 2020-21

1. APPLICABILITY / ELIGIBILITY

Q. What is cut-off date for considering the constitution of the applicant for Multipurpose Empanelment Form (MEF) 2020-2021?

A. As per the Council decision, the cut-off date is as on 1st January, 2020 and no condonation of delay in submission of Form 18 beyond 29th February, 2020 (for this year only, else 31st Jan) is considered for the Constitution Certificate and Certificate of Practice  for Proprietary Concern/ Partnership Firm/ LLP the firm and for Individual/Sole Practitioner Members respectively. Please also refer the caption “Credit & Exclusiveness”.

Q. What are the criteria for the eligibility for Bank   Branch Auditors’ Panel?

A. Applicants who have minimum standing of continuous 3 years in profession as on 1.1.2020 and fulfilling other RBI Norms would be eligible for MEF for the year 2020-21.

3. PROCESS

Q. If I had registered earlier in MEF 2019-20, do I need to register again?

A. The applicants who had registered earlier for MEF 2019-20 can simply login. In case the applicant does not remember the password can use the option “Forgot Password Button”, the link for reset password will be sent to the registered email-id of the applicant.

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

A. Applicant can register himself again for the current year by entering FRN/ MRN and Date of Establishment/ Date of CoP, as the case may be.

Q. Is the MEF Form pre-filled?

A. Yes, MEF 2020-21 is pre-filled with details related to firm and partners as per ICAI records (in Green Colour) and other details (in White Colour) as per the data filled by the applicant in previous year form.

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

A. (a) Green Fields are non-editable as fetched from ICAI records, any change in any of these green fields is to be got updated in ICAI’s Records through SSP. However, it may be mentioned in MOC or corresponding Grey fields but may be noted that any change will be accepted only after due verification with SSP Portal. (b) Other details are populated from last year’s MEF and are editable and can be modified there itself.

Q. What is Memorandum of Changes (MoCs)?

A. In MOC, the applicants can inform their details as on 01.01.2020 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.

Q. Whether MEF Form can be saved page-wise?

A. Yes.

Q. Whether MEF Form can be printed for verification before its submission?

A. Yes, MEF Form can be printed before submission.

Q. Whether applicant can edit the submitted application or not?

A. The application once submitted cannot be modified. However, the application can be modified any number of times before submission of MEF.

4. CREDIT & EXCLUSIVENESS

Q. When the credit of any Partner/ Proprietor is given to the MEF applicant?

A. The credit is given for the partner/ proprietor/ member practicing in individual name who is exclusively associated and continuing with the applicant till the time of finalization of RBI Panel.

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

A. The following partner/ proprietor/ member practicing in individual name is considered as non- exclusive:

(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.

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

A. Out of the Multiple firms with Common Partners, one firm can apply for  Bank Branch Auditors’  Panel while rest of the firms can apply for Other Panels (other than Bank Branch Auditors’ Panel) by indicating their option as “Application for Other than BBA Panel”. A unique number will be allotted to such firms.

In case, more than one firms have applied for BBA Panel, the firms other than the firm which wants to remain eligible for BBA Panel have to submit NOC and such firms will be considered for Other Panel only.

5. UNIQUE CODE NUMBER (UCN)

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

A. Yes, the applicants who are not eligible for Bank Branch Auditor’s panel will also be allotted UCN except for the following applicants:

a) Members practicing in their individual names:

i) Having no full-time CoP and/or

ii) Associated with any other firm as Partner/Proprietor/Chartered Accountant employee.

b) In case of firm:

i) If none of the Partner/ Proprietor is exclusively associated with that firm

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

A. Any Member who has been allotted UCN while practicing in individual name should continue to use the same UCN even on forming sole proprietary concern (may be mentioned in grey field). The UCN will be incorporated after due verification.

6. MISCELLANEOUS

Q. 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 needs to apply or not?

A. 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/ or is eligible for Bank Branch Auditors’ Panel. In such cases, the applicant will not be eligible for Bank Branch Auditors’ Panel even after completing 2 years. Therefore, applicant should be eligible for Bank Branch Auditors’ Panel and submit their application complete in all perspective.

7. DECLARATION

Q. How can an Applicant submit Declaration?

A. For MEF 2020-21, the declaration for the MEF Application will be sought from the member/ partners/ proprietor only through validation of One Time Password (OTP).

The OTP will be sent to the Email-id and Mobile No. as registered in SSP i.e ICAI records.

Any modification required in email or mobile number, has to be done in SSP only. No such changes would be allowed in MEF.

The declaration will be valid only if OTP is validated by all the partners/ proprietor/ Member practicing in individual name. In case, even one partner has not validated, the MEF application will be rejected. However, in case of the partner(s) who has retired/ left after 01.01.2020 till the date on which the data is verified second time for finalization of panel (normally this verification is done in month of Oct./ Nov.), all such modifications have to be done through SSP Portal and informed to us through Grey fields.

The OTP once send will remain valid for 5 days.

Q. Whether Retired/ Resigned partner(s) needs to validate the declaration through OTP?

A. In case of the partner(s) who has retired/ left after 01.01.2020 till the date on which the data is verified second time for finalization of panel (normally this verification is done in month of Oct./ Nov.), all such modifications have to be done through SSP Portal and informed to PDC through grey fields.

8. FINANCIAL DOCUMENT

Q. Whether Financial Documents for MEF 2020-21 is to be submitted?

A. Financial Document is to be uploaded by all the applicants for the firm (not by an individual) and continuing partners( who have joined the firm on or before 31st March 2019) before submission of MEF, else the MEF Form will not be submitted.

9. PAID EMPLOYEE

Q. If “X” a paid employee in XYZ & Co as on 01.01.2020 resigned and other paid employee “Y” joined on or before preparation of panel? Will the credit of any paid CA will be given?

A. In case, any paid Chartered Accountant resigns between 01.01.2020 till the date of final preparation of the panel for submission to RBI and another paid Chartered Accountant joins during the same period, the credit of “Y” Paid employee will be given.

10. PROFESSIONAL STAFF & BANK AUDIT EXPERIENCE

Q. What is included under Professional Staff? Is it necessary to mention the same?

A. Professional Staff includes Articled Assistant, Audit Assistant and Other Professional Staff. It is suggested to mention the number of Professional Staff (Ques. 4 at Page No. 4 of MEF 2020-21) as it is one of the eligibility criteria for Bank Branch Auditors’ Panel. Please refer Revised RBI Norms for more details.

Q. Whether the Bank Audit Experience is to be filled by applicant?

A. As Bank Audit Experience is an important field in determining the category, the applicants are advised to fill it carefully (Ques. 5 at Page No. 4 of MEF 2020-21), please refer Revised RBI Norms for more details.

Other related items

ICAI’s Guidance Note on Bank Audit (2020 Edition)

Revised RBI 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

ICAI Updates
Announcements, Notifications, Press Releases, etc. of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) during different years:
ICAI Announcements: 2021  | 2020
ICAI Press Releases: 2021  | 2020
ICAI Notifications: 2021  | 2020
Note: For Official copy, please visit the ICAI website.

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