Section 143 of Companies Act, 2013 – Powers and duties of auditors and auditing standards

  • Updated Till : August 14, 2017

SECTION 143. POWERS AND DUTIES OF AUDITORS AND AUDITING STANDARDS

[Effective from 1st April, 2014; Sub-section (12) as amended by Companies (Amendment) Act, 2015 effective from 14th December, 2015]

(1) Every auditor of a company shall have a right of access at all times to the books of account and vouchers of the company, whether kept at the registered office of the company or at any other place and shall be entitled to require from the officers of the company such information and explanation as he may consider necessary for the performance of his duties as auditor and amongst other matters inquire into the following matters, namely:—

(a) whether loans and advances made by the company on the basis of security have been properly secured and whether the terms on which they have been made are prejudicial to the interests of the company or its members;

(b) whether transactions of the company which are represented merely by book entries are prejudicial to the interests of the company;

(c) where the company not being an investment company or a banking company, whether so much of the assets of the company as consist of shares, debentures and other securities have been sold at a price less than that at which they were purchased by the company;

(d) whether loans and advances made by the company have been shown as deposits;

(e) whether personal expenses have been charged to revenue account;

(f) where it is stated in the books and documents of the company that any shares have been allotted for cash, whether cash has actually been received in respect of such allotment, and if no cash has actually been so received, whether the position as stated in the account books and the balance sheet is correct, regular and not misleading:

Provided that the auditor of a company which is a holding company shall also have the right of access to the records of all its subsidiaries in so far as it relates to the consolidation of its financial statements with that of its subsidiaries.

(2) The auditor shall make a report to the members of the company on the accounts examined by him and on every financial statements which are required by or under this Act to be laid before the company in general meeting and the report shall after taking into account the provisions of this Act, the accounting and auditing standards and matters which are required to be included in the audit report under the provisions of this Act or any rules made thereunder or under any order made under sub-section (11) and to the best of his information and knowledge, the said accounts, financial statements give a true and fair view of the state of the company’s affairs as at the end of its financial year and profit or loss and cash flow for the year and such other matters as may be prescribed.

(3) The auditor’s report shall also state—

(a) whether he has sought and obtained all the information and explanations which to the best of his knowledge and belief were necessary for the purpose of his audit and if not, the details thereof and the effect of such information on the financial statements;

(b) whether, in his opinion, proper books of account as required by law have been kept by the company so far as appears from his examination of those books and proper returns adequate for the purposes of his audit have been received from branches not visited by him;

(c) whether the report on the accounts of any branch office of the company audited under sub-section (8) by a person other than the company’s auditor has been sent to him under the proviso to that sub-section and the manner in which he has dealt with it in preparing his report;

(d) whether the company’s balance sheet and profit and loss account dealt with in the report are in agreement with the books of account and returns;

(e) whether, in his opinion, the financial statements comply with the accounting standards;

(f) the observations or comments of the auditors on financial transactions or matters which have any adverse effect on the functioning of the company;

(g) whether any director is disqualified from being appointed as a director under sub-section (2) of section 164;

(h) any qualification, reservation or adverse remark relating to the maintenance of accounts and other matters connected therewith;

(i) whether the company has adequate internal financial controls system in place and the operating effectiveness of such controls;

Exemption 

Clause (i) shall not apply to a private company:-

(i) which is a one person company or a small company; or

(ii) which has turnover less than rupees fifty crores as per latest audited financial [7][statement and] which has aggregate borrowings from banks or financial institutions or any body corporate at any point of time during the financial year less than rupees twenty five crore.

vide Notification F. No. 1/1/2014-CL-V dated 13th June, 2017.

(j) such other matters as may be prescribed.

(4) Where any of the matters required to be included in the audit report under this section is answered in the negative or with a qualification, the report shall state the reasons therefor.

(5) [In the case of a Government company or any other company owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the Central Government, or by any State Government or Governments, or partly by the Central Government and partly by one or more State Governments, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India shall appoint the auditor under sub-section (5) or sub-section (7) of Section 139 and direct such auditor the manner in which the accounts of the company are required to be audited and][1] thereupon the auditor so appointed shall submit a copy of the audit report to the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India which, among other things, include the directions, if any, issued by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India, the action taken thereon and its impact on the accounts and financial statement of the company.

(6) The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India shall within sixty days from the date of receipt of the audit report under sub-section (5) have a right to,—

(a) conduct a supplementary audit of the financial statement of the company by such person or persons as he may authorise in this behalf; and for the purposes of such audit, require information or additional information to be furnished to any person or persons, so authorised, on such matters, by such person or persons, and in such form, as the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India may direct; and

(b) comment upon or supplement such audit report:

Provided that any comments given by the Comptroller and Auditor- General of India upon, or supplement to, the audit report shall be sent by the company to every person entitled to copies of audited financial statements under sub section (1) of section 136 and also be placed before the annual general meeting of the company at the same time and in the same manner as the audit report.

(7) Without prejudice to the provisions of this Chapter, the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India may, in case of any company covered under sub-section (5) or sub-section (7) of section 139, if he considers necessary, by an order, cause test audit to be conducted of the accounts of such company and the provisions of section 19A of the *Comptroller and Auditor-General’s (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service) Act, 1971 (56 of 1971), shall apply to the report of such test audit.

(8) Where a company has a branch office, the accounts of that office shall be audited either by the auditor appointed for the company (herein referred to as the company’s auditor) under this Act or by any other person qualified for appointment as an auditor of the company under this Act and appointed as such under section 139, or where the branch office is situated in a country outside India, the accounts of the branch office shall be audited either by the company’s auditor or by an accountant or by any other person duly qualified to act as an auditor of the accounts of the branch office in accordance with the laws of that country and the duties and powers of the company’s auditor with reference to the audit of the branch and the branch auditor, if any, shall be such as may be prescribed:

Provided that the branch auditor shall prepare a report on the accounts of the branch examined by him and send it to the auditor of the company who shall deal with it in his report in such manner as he considers necessary.

(9) Every auditor shall comply with the auditing standards.

(10) The Central Government may prescribe the standards of auditing or any addendum thereto, as recommended by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, constituted under section 3 of the *Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 (38 of 1949), in consultation with and after examination of the recommendations made by the National Financial Reporting Authority:

Provided that until any auditing standards are notified, any standard or standards of auditing specified by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India shall be deemed to be the auditing standards.

(11) The Central Government may, in consultation with the National Financial Reporting Authority, by general or special order, direct, in respect of such class or description of companies, as may be specified in the order, that the auditor’s report shall also include a statement on such matters as may be specified therein.

[2][Provided that until the National Financial Reporting Authority is constituted under section 132, the Central Government may hold consultation required under this sub-section with the Committee chaired by an officer of the rank of Joint Secretary or equivalent in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and the Committee shall have the representatives from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and Industry Chambers and also special invitees from the National Advisory Committee on Accounting Standards and the office of the Comptroller and Auditor-General]

[3][(12) Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, if an auditor of a company in the course of the performance of his duties as auditor, has reason to believe that an offence of fraud involving such amount or amounts as may be prescribed, is being or has been committed in the company by its officers or employees, the auditor shall report the matter to the Central Government within such time and in such manner as may be prescribed:

Provided that in case of a fraud involving lesser than the specified amount, the auditor shall report the matter to the audit committee constituted under section 177 or to the Board in other cases within such time and in such manner as may be prescribed:

Provided further that the companies, whose auditors have reported frauds under this sub-section to the audit committee or the Board but not reported to the Central Government, shall disclose the details about such frauds in the Board’s report in such manner as may be prescribed.]

(13) No duty to which an auditor of a company may be subject to shall be regarded as having been contravened by reason of his reporting the matter referred to in sub-section (12) if it is done in good faith.

(14) The provisions of this section shall mutatis mutandis apply to—

(a) the cost accountant in practice conducting cost audit under section 148; or

(b) the company secretary in practice conducting secretarial audit under section 204.

(15) If any auditor, cost accountant or company secretary in practice do not comply with the provisions of sub-section (12), he shall be punishable with fine which shall not be less than one lakh rupees but which may extend to twenty-five lakh rupees.

Applicable Rules

Companies (Audit and Auditors) Rules, 2014

[Effective from 1st April, 2014]

[4][Rule 10A. Internal financial controls system.— For the purposes of clause (i) of sub-section (3) of section 143, for the financial years commencing on or after 1st April, 2015, the report of the auditor shall state about existence of adequate internal financial controls system and its operating effectiveness:

Provided that auditor of a company may voluntarily include the statement referred to in this rule for the financial year commencing on or after 1st April, 2014 and ending on or before 31st March, 2015.]

Rule 11. Other matters to be included in auditors report.—The auditor’s report shall also include their views and comments on the following matters, namely:—

(a) whether the company has disclosed the impact, if any, of pending litigations on its financial position in its financial statement;

(b) whether the company has made provision, as required under any law or accounting standards, for material foreseeable losses, if any, on long term contracts including derivative contracts;

(c) whether there has been any delay in transferring amounts, required to be transferred, to the Investor Education and Protection Fund by the company.

Rule 12. Duties and powers of the company’s auditor with reference to the audit of the branch and the branch auditor.—(1) For the purposes of sub-section (8) of section 143, the duties and powers of the company’s auditor with reference to the audit of the branch and the branch auditor, if any, shall be as contained in sub-sections (1) to (4) of section 143.

(2) The branch auditor shall submit his report to the company’s auditor.

(3) The provisions of sub-section (12) of section 143 read with rule 12 hereunder regarding reporting of fraud by the auditor shall also extend to such branch auditor to the extent it relates to the concerned branch.

[5] [13. Reporting of frauds by auditor and other matters: (1) if an auditor of a company, in the course of the performance of his duties as statutory auditor, has reason to believe that an offence of fraud, which involves or is expected to involve individually an amount of rupees one crore or above, is being or has been committed against the company by its officers or employees, the auditor shall report the matter to the Central Government.

(2) The auditor shall report the matter to the Central Government as under:-

(a) the auditor shall report the matter to the Board or the Audit Committee, as the case may be, immediately but not later than two days of his knowledge of the fraud, seeking their reply or observations within forty-five days;

(b) on receipt of such reply or observations, the auditor shall forward his report and the reply or observations of the Board or the Audit Committee along with his comments (on such reply or observations of the Board or the Audit Committee) to the Central Government within fifteen days from the date of receipt of such reply or observations;

(c) in case the auditor fails to get any reply or observations from the Board or the Audit Committee within the stipulated period of forty-five days, he shall forward his report to the Central Government along with a note containing the details of his report that was earlier forwarded to the Board or the Audit Committee for which he has not received any reply or observations;

(d) the report shall be sent to the Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs in a sealed cover by Registered Post with Acknowledgement Due or by Speed Post followed by an e-mail in confirmation of the same;

(e) The report shall be on the letter-head of the auditor containing postal address, email address and contact telephone number or mobile number and be signed by the auditor with his seal and shall indicate his Membership Number; and

(f) the report shall be in the form of statement as specified in Form ADT-4.

(3) In case of a fraud involving lesser than the amount specified in sub-rule (1), the auditor shall report the matter to Audit Committee constituted under section 177 or to the Board immediately but not later than two days of his knowledge of the fraud and he shall report the matter specifying the following:-

(a) Nature of Fraud with description;

(b) Approximate amount involved; and

(c) Parties involved.

(4) The following details of each of the fraud reported to the Audit Committee or the Board under sub-rule(3) during the year shall be disclosed in the Board’s Report:-

(a) Nature of Fraud with description;

(b) Approximate Amount involved;

(c) Parties involved,remedial action not taken; and

(d) Remedial actions taken.

(5) The provision of this rule shall also apply, mutatis mutandis, to a Cost Auditor and a Secretarial Auditor during the performance of his duties under section 148 and section 204 respectively;]

Applicable Circulars

Clarification regarding. applicability of exemption given to certain private companies under section 143(3)(i) of the Companies Act 2013-reg.

General Circular No. 08 /2017 dated 25-7-2017

Stakeholders have drawn attention of this Ministry to the serial no. 5 of notification No.G.S.R.583(E) dated 13th June, 2017 which states that requirements of reporting under section 143(3)(i) of the Companies Act 2013 shall not apply to certain private compares as mentioned therein and have sought clarification w.r.t. the financial year(s) in respect of which the said exemption shall be applicable. The issue has been -examined in the Ministry and it is hereby clarified that the exemption shall be applicable for those audit reports in respect of financial statements pertaining to financial years-commencing on or after 1st April,2016, which are made on or after the date of the said notification.

2. This issues with the approval of the Competent Authority.

 Applicable Orders

[6][Companies (Auditor’s Report) Order, 2016 dated 29th March, 2016

Notification No. S.O. 1228E

New Delhi, the S.O. 1228(E).—In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (11) of section 143 of the Companies Act, 2013 (18 of 2013 ) and in supersession of the Companies (Auditor’s Report) Order, 2015 published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, Section 3, Sub-section (ii), vide number S.O. 990 (E), dated the 10th April, 2015, except as respects things done or omitted to be done before such supersession, the Central Government, after consultation with the, committee constituted under proviso to sub-section (11) of section 143 of the Companies Act, 2013 hereby makes the following Order, namely:—

1. Short title, application and commencement.- (1) This Order may be called the Companies (Auditor’s Report) Order, 2016.

(2) It shall apply to every company including a foreign company as defined in clause (42) of section 2 of the Companies Act, 2013 (18 of 2013) [hereinafter referred to as the Companies Act], except–

(i) a banking company as defined in clause (c) of section 5 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (10 of 1949);

(ii) an insurance company as defined under the Insurance Act,1938 (4 of 1938);

(iii) a company licensed to operate under section 8 of the Companies Act;

(iv) a One Person Company as defined under clause (62) of section 2 of the Companies Act and a small company as defined under clause (85) of section 2 of the Companies Act; and

(v) a private limited company, not being a subsidiary or holding company of a public company, having a paid up capital and reserves and surplus not more than rupees one crore as on the balance sheet date and which does not have total borrowings exceeding rupees one crore from any bank or financial institution at any point of time during the financial year and which does not have a total revenue as disclosed in Scheduled III to the Companies Act, 2013 (including revenue from discontinuing operations) exceeding rupees ten crore during the financial year as per the financial statements.

2. Auditor’s report to contain matters specified in paragraphs 3 and 4. – Every report made by the auditor under section 143 of the Companies Act, 2013 on the accounts of every company audited by him, to which this Order applies, for the financial years commencing on or after 1st April, 2015, shall in addition, contain the matters specified in paragraphs 3 and 4, as may be applicable:

Provided the Order shall not apply to the auditor’s report on consolidated financial statements.

3. Matters to be included in the auditor’s report. – The auditor’s report on the accounts of a company to which this Order applies shall include a statement on the following matters, namely:-

(i)(a) whether the company is maintaining proper records showing full particulars, including quantitative details and situation of fixed assets;

(b) whether these fixed assets have been physically verified by the management at reasonable intervals; whether any material discrepancies were noticed on such verification and if so, whether the same have been properly dealt with in the books of account;

(c) whether the title deeds of immovable properties are held in the name of the company. If not, provide the details thereof;

(ii) whether physical verification of inventory has been conducted at reasonable intervals by the management and whether any material discrepancies were noticed and if so, whether they have been properly dealt with in the books of account;

(iii) whether the company has granted any loans, secured or unsecured to companies, firms, Limited Liability Partnerships or other parties covered in the register maintained under section 189 of the Companies Act, 2013. If so,

(a) whether the terms and conditions of the grant of such loans are not prejudicial to the company’s interest;

(b) whether the schedule of repayment of principal and payment of interest has been stipulated and whether the repayments or receipts are regular;

(c) if the amount is overdue, state the total amount overdue for more than ninety days, and whether reasonable steps have been taken by the company for recovery of the principal and interest;

(iv) in respect of loans, investments, guarantees, and security whether provisions of section 185 and 186 of the Companies Act, 2013 have been complied with. If not, provide the details thereof.

(v) in case, the company has accepted deposits, whether the directives issued by the Reserve Bank of India and the provisions of sections 73 to 76 or any other relevant provisions of the Companies Act, 2013 and the rules framed thereunder, where applicable, have been complied with? If not, the nature of such contraventions be stated; If an order has been passed by Company Law Board or National Company Law Tribunal or Reserve Bank of India or any court or any other tribunal, whether the same has been complied with or not?

(vi) whether maintenance of cost records has been specified by the Central Government under sub-section (1) of section 148 of the Companies Act, 2013 and whether such accounts and records have been so made and maintained.

(vii) (a) whether the company is regular in depositing undisputed statutory dues including provident fund, employees’ state insurance, income-tax, sales-tax, service tax, duty of customs, duty of excise, value added tax, cess and any other statutory dues to the appropriate authorities and if not, the extent of the arrears of outstanding statutory dues as on the last day of the financial year concerned for a period of more than six months from the date they became payable, shall be indicated;

(b) where dues of income tax or sales tax or service tax or duty of customs or duty of excise or value added tax have not been deposited on account of any dispute, then the amounts involved and the forum where dispute is pending shall be mentioned. (A mere representation to the concerned Department shall not be treated as a dispute).

(viii) whether the company has defaulted in repayment of loans or borrowing to a financial institution, bank, Government or dues to debenture holders? If yes, the period and the amount of default to be reported (in case of defaults to banks, financial institutions, and Government, lender wise details to be provided).

(ix) whether moneys raised by way of initial public offer or further public offer (including debt instruments) and term loans were applied for the purposes for which those are raised. If not, the details together with delays or default and subsequent rectification, if any, as may be applicable, be reported;

(x) whether any fraud by the company or any fraud on the Company by its officers or employees has been noticed or reported during the year; If yes, the nature and the amount involved is to be indicated;

(xi) whether managerial remuneration has been paid or provided in accordance with the requisite approvals mandated by the provisions of section 197 read with Schedule V to the Companies Act? If not, state the amount involved and steps taken by the company for securing refund of the same;

(xii) whether the Nidhi Company has complied with the Net Owned Funds to Deposits in the ratio of 1: 20 to meet out the liability and whether the Nidhi Company is maintaining ten per cent unencumbered term deposits as specified in the Nidhi Rules, 2014 to meet out the liability;

(xiii) whether all transactions with the related parties are in compliance with sections 177 and 188 of Companies Act, 2013 where applicable and the details have been disclosed in the Financial Statements etc., as required by the applicable accounting standards;

(xiv) whether the company has made any preferential allotment or private placement of shares or fully or partly convertible debentures during the year under review and if so, as to whether the requirement of section 42 of the Companies Act, 2013 have been complied with and the amount raised have been used for the purposes for which the funds were raised. If not, provide the details in respect of the amount involved and nature of non-compliance;

(xv) whether the company has entered into any non-cash transactions with directors or persons connected with him and if so, whether the provisions of section 192 of Companies Act, 2013 have been complied with;

(xvi) whether the company is required to be registered under section 45-IA of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 and if so, whether the registration has been obtained.

4. Reasons to be stated for unfavourable or qualified answers.- (1) Where, in the auditor’s report, the answer to any of the questions referred to in paragraph 3 is unfavourable or qualified, the auditor’s report shall also state the basis for such unfavourable or qualified answer, as the case may be.

(2) Where the auditor is unable to express any opinion on any specified matter, his report shall indicate such fact together with the reasons as to why it is not possible for him to give his opinion on the same.]

[1] Substituted by Companies (Removal of Difficulties) Seventh Order, 2014 vide S.O. 2226(E) dated 4th September 2014. Prior to substitution it read as under:

In the case of a Government company, the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India shall appoint the auditor under sub-section (5) or sub-section (7) of section 139 and direct such auditor the manner in which the accounts of the Government company are required to be audited”.

[2] Inserted by the Companies (Removal of Difficulties) First Order, 2016 dated 29th March 2016 vide S.O.1226(E). wherein it was wrongly written to insert the proviso in section 143 sub section (ii) instead of sub-section (11).

[3] Substituted by the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2015 and notified vide S.O. 3388 (E) dated 14th December, 2015. Prior to the substitution, it read as under:

(12) Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, if an auditor of a company, in the course of the performance of his duties as auditor, has reason to believe that an offence involving fraud is being or has been committed against the company by officers or employees of the company, he shall immediately report the matter to the Central Government within such time and in such manner as may be prescribed.

[4] Inserted by the Companies (Audit and Auditors) Amendment Rules, 2014 vide G.S.R. 722(E) dated 14-10-2014.

[5] Substituted by the Companies (Audit and Auditors) Amendment Rules, 2015 vide G.S.R. 972(E) dated 14-12-2015. Prior to the substitution, it read as under:

Rule 13. Reporting of frauds by auditor.—(1) For the purpose of sub- section (12) of section 143, in case the auditor has sufficient reason to believe that an offence involving fraud, is being or has been committed against the company by officers or employees of the company, he shall report the matter to the Central Government immediately but not later than sixty days of his knowledge and after following the procedure indicated herein below:

(i) auditor shall forward his report to the Board or the Audit Committee, as the case may be, immediately after he comes to knowledge of the fraud, seeking their reply or observations within forty-five days;

(ii) on receipt of such reply or observations the auditor shall forward his report and the reply or observations of the Board or the Audit Committee alongwith his comments (on such reply or observations of the Board or the Audit Committee) to the Central Government within fifteen days of receipt of such reply or observations;

(iii) in case the auditor fails to get any reply or observations from the Board or the Audit Committee within the stipulated period of forty-five days, he shall forward his report to the Central Government alongwith a note containing the details of his report that was earlier forwarded to the Board or the Audit Committee for which he failed to receive any reply or observations within the stipulated time.

(2) The report shall be sent to the Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs in a sealed cover by Registered Post with Acknowledgement Due or by Speed post followed by an e-mail in confirmation of the same.

(3) The report shall be on the letter-head of the auditor containing postal address, e-mail address and contact number and be signed by the auditor with his seal and shall indicate his Membership Number.

(4) The report shall be in the form of a statement as specified in Form ADT-4.

(5) The provision of this rule shall also apply, mutatis mutandis, to a cost auditor and a secretarial auditor during the performance of his duties under section 148 and section 204 respectively

[6] Substituted by  Companies (Auditor’s Report) Order, 2016 Vide S.O. 1228E dated 29th March, 2016 in supersession to Companies (Auditor’s Report) Order, 2015. Prior to Substitution it read as under:

S.O. 990(E).- In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (11) of section 143 of the Companies Act, 2013 (18 of 2013 ) and in supersession of the Companies (Auditor’s Report) Order, 2003, published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, Section 3, Sub-section (i), vide number G.S.R. 480 (E), dated the 12th June, 2003, except as respects things done or omitted to be done before such supersession, the Central Government, after consultation with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, constituted under the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 (38 of 1949), hereby makes the following Order, namely:-

1. Short title, application and commencement.— (1) This order may be called the Companies (Auditor’s Report) Order, 2015.

(2) It shall apply to every company including a foreign company as defined in clause (42) of section 2 of the Companies Act, 2013 (18 of 2013) [hereinafter referred to as the Companies Act], except—

(i) a banking company as defined in clause (c) of section 5 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (10 of 1949);

(ii) an insurance company as defined under the Insurance Act, 1938 (4 of 1938);

(iii) a company licensed to operate under section 8 of the Companies Act;

(iv) a One Person Company as defined under clause (62) of section 2 of the Companies Act and a small company as defined under clause (85) of section 2 of the Companies Act; and

(v) a private limited company with a paid up capital and reserves not more than rupees fifty lakh and which does not have loan outstanding exceeding rupees twenty five lakh from any bank or financial institution and does not have a turnover exceeding rupees five crore at any point of time during the financial year.

(3) It shall come into force on the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.

2. Auditor’s report to contain matters specified in paragraphs 3 and 4. – Every report made by the auditor under section 143 of the Companies Act, on the accounts of every company examined by him to which this Order applies for the financial year commencing on or after 1st April, 2014, shall contain the matters specified in paragraphs 3 and 4.

3. Matters to be included in the auditor’s report. — The auditor’s report on the account of a company to which this Order applies shall include a statement on the following matters, namely:—

(i) (a) whether the company is maintaining proper records showing full particulars, including quantitative details and situation of fixed assets;

(b) whether these fixed assets have been physically verified by the management at reasonable intervals; whether any material discrepancies were noticed on such verification and if so, whether the same have been properly dealt with in the books of account;

(ii) (a) whether physical verification of inventory has been conducted at reasonable intervals by the management;

(b) are the procedures of physical verification of inventory followed by the management reasonable and adequate in relation to the size of the company and the nature of its business. If not, the inadequacies in such procedures should be reported;

(c) whether the company is maintaining proper records of inventory and whether any material discrepancies were noticed on physical verification and if so, whether the same have been properly dealt with in the books of account;

(iii) whether the company has granted any loans, secured or unsecured to companies, firms or other parties covered in the register maintained under section 189 of the Companies Act. If so,

(a) whether receipt of the principal amount and interest are also regular; and

(b) if overdue amount is more than rupees one lakh, whether reasonable steps have been taken by the company for recovery of the principal and interest;

(iv) is there an adequate internal control system commensurate with the size of the company and the nature of its business, for the purchase of inventory and fixed assets and for the sale of goods and services. Whether there is a continuing failure to correct major weaknesses in internal control system.

(v) in case the company has accepted deposits, whether the directives issued by the Reserve Bank of India and the provisions of sections 73 to 76 or any other relevant provisions of the Companies Act and the rules framed there under, where applicable, have been complied with? If not, the nature of contraventions should be stated; If an order has been passed by Company Law Board or National Company Law Tribunal or Reserve Bank of India or any court or any other tribunal, whether the same has been complied with or not?

(vi) where maintenance of cost records has been specified by the Central Government under sub-section (1) of section 148 of the Companies Act, whethersuch accounts and records have been made and maintained;

(vii) (a) is the company regular in depositing undisputed statutory dues including provident fund, employees’ state insurance, income-tax, sales-tax, wealth tax, service tax, duty of customs, duty of excise, value added tax, cess and any other statutory dues with the appropriate authorities and if not, the extent of the arrears of outstanding statutory dues as at the last day of the financial year concerned for a period of more than six months from the date they became payable, shall be indicated by the auditor.

(b) in case dues of income tax or sales tax or wealth tax or service tax or duty of customs or duty of excise or value added tax or cess have not been deposited on account of any dispute, then the amounts involved and the forum where dispute is pending shall be mentioned. (A mere representation to the concerned Department shall not constitute a dispute).

(c) whether the amount required to be transferred to investor education and protection fund in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956) and rules made thereunder has been transferred to such fund within time.

(viii) whether in case of a company which has been registered for a period not less than five years, its accumulated losses at the end of the financial year are not less than fifty per cent of its net worth and whether it has incurred cash losses in such financial year and in the immediately preceding financial year;

(ix) whether the company has defaulted in repayment of dues to a financial institution or bank or debenture holders? If yes, the period and amount of default to be reported;

(x) whether the company has given any guarantee for loans taken by others from bank or financial institutions, the terms and conditions whereof are prejudicial to the interest of the company;

(xi) whether term loans were applied for the purpose for which the loans were obtained;

(xii) whether any fraud on or by the company has been noticed or reported during the year; If yes, the nature and the amount involved is to be indicated.

4. Reasons to be stated for unfavourable or qualified answers. — (1) Where, in the auditor’s report, the answer to any of the questions referred to in paragraph 3 is unfavourable or qualified, the auditor’s report shall also state the reasons for such unfavourable or qualified answer, as the case may be.

(2) Where the auditor is unable to express any opinion in answer to a particular question, his report shall indicate such fact together with the reasons why it is not possible for him to give an answer to such question.

[7] Substituted for the words “statement or” vide Notification No. F.No.7/7/2014-CL-V dated 13th July, 2017.

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