IT Committee

Chairman Message

It is indeed a great pleasure and privilege for me to assume the office of Chairman, Committee on Information Technology to further the interests of the profession in this evolving field which is very close to my heart.

 

I am extremely glad to note the progress made by the Committee and the increasing interest and support of members to the initiatives of the IT Committee. Technology plays a major role in facilitating all functions of business in this era, not just in transaction capturing and processing but even in lesser known areas like Corporate Governance and Risk Management. There is no doubt that Chartered Accountants with ISA qualification will play a major role in Information Systems Audit (ISA) in the coming years.

 

The technology revolution in the 20th century, particularly last 10 years, is a re-enactment of the Industrial Revolution that happened 150 years ago- with lessons that are valid even today. The Industrial Revolution was propelled by innovations but now the rules are being rewritten, powered by silicon chips and Internet bandwidth. With changing paradigms, knowledge and experience in technology are not merely desirable, but basic requirements for not only growth and even survival in the evolving global village.

 

Information Technology has evolved from a humble role of business enabler to business driver – the IT Wave is driving businesses today, www.amazon.com, the largest supplier of books in the world does not (a) make sales over-the-counter, (b) have any stores in prestigious malls around the globe, (c) have large warehouses or (d) large staff.

 

We have to change with the changing times by adopting Information Technology to improve efficiency and effectiveness of our operations (ERP/ CAAT/ GAS/ Practice Management Software), and also offer value added services (Systems & Process Assurance/ IS Audit, Consultancy, e-governance) which are in increasing demand.

Technology education is now becoming a must! While the need to develop technologically is quite obvious, I would like to present a few reasons, which are somewhat different:

  1. Find out how to use available technology: : This is pertinent as it is estimated that only 5% of technology currently available is being used fully. Just reflect on this - Carrier never invented the dehumidification technology for air-conditioning! The IBM founder thought there was room only for a handful of computers in the world!
  2. Find out where to use Information Technology (IT): Match business needs and the right technology. Michael Hammer once said: 'People who develop software do not know what we need; we do not even know what we need until it is here.
  3. Find out how to get ROI (Return On Investment) from IT: As accountants, this is very important -technology is an enabler, not the end result.
  4. Find out how IT can be integrated and standardised: Integration is the biggest business in IT these days. If things can be standardized from the beginning, there will be no need to 'integrate' separately later.
  5. Find out the latest happenings in IT: "Technology always seems to move faster than our ability to understand what to do with it; and the pace seems to be accelerating”. We need to be at the cutting edge of technology, as we need to be ‘awake’ to the world we're building, and not, as an old Sufi saying goes, merely be asleep in life's waiting room.

"...A crucial turning point comes when one is able to acknowledge that modern techniques, much more than politics as conventionally understood, now legislates the conditions of human existence." -Langdon Winner.

The CIT would endeavor to take on IT challenges and convert them into opportunities for the profession. The IT Committee would be focusing on the following areas this year:

  1. Professional opportunities for ISA qualified members: The Committee is to advocate compulsory use of ISA qualified members for Audit of Systems in large listed companies with SEBI and the stock exchanges in respect of brokers, all banking and large non-banking financial institutions to provide increasing impetus and recognition to the ISA Course. The Committee should draw a framework for IS Audit prescribing the templates for engagement/ reporting/ performance, minimum fee structure and so on by constituting a study group for this purpose.
  2. Practical Training/ Workshops: The IT Committee would provide practical training/ workshops for hands-on experience in following emerging IT areas: IS Audit of Banks/ Banking Applications/ IS Audit of Stock Brokers/ Using CAAT’s/ Using MS-Excel as at tool for Financial Analysis/ Audit/ E-Governance/ Network Security Audit & Review/ IT Enabled Services (ITES)/ ERP and so on
  3. Track Technology Developments for impact on profession: The Committee will monitor constantly technological developments and their impact on the profession in terms of opportunities to render services. It is proposed to communicate these to members through the Institute Journal at least once every quarter. One of the areas highlighted by the committee is offshore audit, wherein accounts are audited in the country for overseas clients using digitized data.
  4. ISACA MOU: ISACA’s Standards and Guidelines are widely used all over the world in IS Audits. The adoption of these standards, guidelines and procedures by ICAI and making them available for DISA members will enable Audits to follow internationally accepted standards and guidelines and bring increased global acceptability of DISA qualification in carrying out IS Audits.
  5. Integration of the profession with global imperative: ICAI would be making Strategic collaboration with relevant International Bodies for exposure of the accounting profession in India to the best practices followed worldwide, knowledge networking, and also emphasizing on creating a pool of ‘Trainers’ for the entire country to establish convergence with International Standards and promoting compliance.
  6. Forensic Accounting and Fraud Detection: The Committee has started “Certificate Course on Forensic Accounting and Fraud Detection”. The course aims to develop investigative skills required to uncover corporate/ business fraud, measure resultant damage, provide litigation support/ outside counsel by applying accounting, auditing principles for the detection of frauds.
  7. ERP Course: Identified IT Enabled Services (ITeS) as the thrust area for the development of the profession, after the Post Qualification Course (PQC) on Information Systems Audit (ISA). As a part of this initiative, education and training programmes in ERP have been started on SAP FA & MA through M/s(s). SAP India. This course provides world class training through OEM vendors at subsidized rates and convenient scheduling.
  8. e-Learning Courses: IT Committee has launched (a) Online e- Learning Courses on (i) Service Tax, (ii) IFRS and (iii) Transfer Pricing (iv) Standards and Audit (v) Standards and Audit Phase 2,3,4 (vi) Custom Duty (vii) Central Sales Tax (viii) Central Excise Duty (ix) Introduction to International Taxation and (b) e-Learning CD’s on (i) Using CAATs/ GAS, (ii) Using MS- Excel 2007 as an Audit Tool,(iii) IS Security, Cyber Threats & Review – An Intro., and (iv) Windows, Network & Wi-Fi Security – An Intro., which provide members to develop competencies at their convenience and pace.
  9. Impetus to research activities: IT Committee would be conducting Research activities for identifying the accounting needs of informal and tiny sectors, particularly any rural areas and promoting IT based simple accounting solutions.

Please do visit the CIT Portal at http://cit.cai.org regularly to keep abreast of the latest developments and initiatives of the Committee on Information Technology in this regard.

Wishing you all the very best,

 CA. Atul Kumar Gupta, FCA
Chairman
Committee on Information Technology

21st February, 2017
New Delhi

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