The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is a statutory body set up by an Act of Parliament, viz. The Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 (Act No.XXXVIII of 1949) for regulating the profession of Chartered Accountancy in the country. The Institute, operates under the administrative control of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India. The ICAI is the second biggest professional body of Chartered Accountants in the world, with a strong tradition of service to the Indian economy in public interest.
The affairs of the ICAI are managed by a Council in accordance with the rules of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 and the Chartered Accountants Regulations, 1988. The Council comprises of 40 members of whom 32 are elected by the Chartered Accountants and rests 8 are nominated by the Central Government generally representing the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Securities and Exchange Board of India, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Ministry of Finance and other stakeholders.
Over a duration of time the ICAI has achieved recognition as a premier accounting body not only in the country but also globally, for maintaining highest standards in technical, ethical areas and for sustaining stringent examination and education standards. Since 1949, the profession has grown leaps and bounds in rules of members and student base.
Motto and mission
The motto of the ICAI is Ya Aeshu Suptaeshu Jagruti [Sanskrit]. The motto literally states “a person who is awake in those that sleep”. It is a quotation from the Upanishads (Kathopanishad). It was provided to the ICAI at the time of its establishment in 1949 by Sri Aurobindo as a part of its emblem. CA. C. S. Shastri, a Chartered Accountant from Chennai went to Sri Aurobindo and requested him by a letter to give an emblem to the newly established Institute of which he was an elected member from Southern India. In reply to this request, Sri Aurobindo provided him the emblem with a Garuda, the mythical eagle in the center and a quotation from the Upanishad: Ya Aeshu Suptaeshu Jagruti. The emblem with the motto was placed at the first meeting of the Council of the Institute and was accepted amongst many other emblems placed by other members of the Council.
Other than this emblem, ICAI also has a separate logo for its members. As a part of a brand building exercise, ICAI launched this separate new CA logo for the use of its members in 2007. The logo is free for use by all members of ICAI subject to certain conditions. The logo was launched by the then Minister of Corporate Affairs, Prem Chand Gupta at the occasion of the Chartered Accountant Day (1 July) in the front of the then President of ICAI Sunil Talati. Members of ICAI cannot use the ICAI emblem, but they are encouraged to use the CA logo instead on their official things.
The Mission of the ICAI as said by it is: “The Indian Chartered Accountancy profession will be the Valued Trustees of World Class Financial Competencies, Good Governance, and Competitiveness.
Council of the Institute
The management of the affairs of the Institute is undertaken by a Council comprises under the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949. The Council comprises of 32 elected fellow members and up to 8 members nominated by the Government of India. The elected person of the council is elected under the single transferable vote system by the members of the institute. The Council is re-elected every 3 years. The Council elects two of its members to be president and vice-president who hold office for one year. The president is the chief executive Authority of the Council.
ICAI’s first president was CA G.P. Kapadia (1949 to 1952). CA Naveen N. D. Gupta is the present president.
Code of Ethics
The Institute has a detailed code of ethics and actions in contravention of such code outcome in disciplinary action against the erring members. The Institute publishes a Members Handbook comprising the Chartered Accountants Act 1949, Chartered Accountants Regulation 1988, Professional Opportunities for Members – an Appraisal, Code of Ethics and Manual for members. These together form the basis of regulation of the profession. The Council also has a Peer Review Board that ensures that in carrying out their professional attestation services assignments, the people of the Institute (a) comply with the Technical Standards laid down by the Institute and (b) have in place proper systems (covering documentation systems) for maintaining the quality of the attestation services work they perform.