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Society News for month of August 2023

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LEARNING EVENTS AT BCAS

  1. Lecture Meeting — the role of professionals in governance

In the first annual lecture meeting organised by the Society on 12th July, 2023, the speaker, CA Nawshir Mirza congratulated the incoming President and the Society for entering its 75th year. He indicated that Society needs to introspect on its role on the threshold of this historic moment. It is in this context that the topic ‘Role of Professionals in Governance’ assumes special significance. He then proceeded to provide a masterly analysis, of the following matters:

  • He began by dwelling on the hallmarks of professionals like competence, objectivity, independence, ethics, good communication and being effective influencers. He further added that they need to live by their vision.
  • Next, he went on to describe governance as similar to religion. It is primarily compliance-driven even though currently compliance is at a saturation point. He also touched upon the history of governance by stating that it began with the political system of governance in Europe comprising of the estates, barons, clergy and the common man. He further added that the French Revolution changed the concept of governance and the third estate (i.e., the common man) which paved the way for the universal adult franchise.
  • Moving forward, he elaborated that political governance moved towards corporate governance which initially was more to deal with the providers of capital. In this context, he emphasised that the Companies Act, 2013 (“the Act”) is a unique piece of legislation that deals with the interests of the providers of capital (primarily the shareholders).
  • However, recently, corporate governance has progressed further and now deals with the rights of all stakeholders, whereby he referred to a speech by the Chairman of the International Sustainability Standards Board that dealt with how the value of a company as a creator for its shareholders is inextricably linked with the ecosystem., thus signalling a shift from the efficiency mindset (from a shareholder’s perspective) to a sustainability mindset (from the stakeholder value perspective).
  • The role of Independent Directors was also discussed by referring to the provisions of section 166(2) read with Schedule IV of the Act, which outlines their duties and responsibilities towards the interests of the environment and society. Citing from his experience as an independent director, he noted that the following significant principles and recent changes need to be kept in mind whilst engaging and practicing governance by all professionals:
  1. The learnings from the Enron era which placed doubts on the integrity of the Corporate Managers and the global financial crisis of 2008 and the consequential wealth inequalities.
  1. Responsibility of the Board, management and managers to the interests of all the stakeholders.
  1. Practicing fairness, accountability and transparency towards all stakeholders.
  1. Being aware of the recent reporting changes, both locally and globally, like the BRSR Report, Integrated Reporting, Task Force on Climate-Related Disclosures, Carbon disclosure project, sustainability standards, etc.
  1. Being aware of the various ESG risks, greenwashing, and measurement tools for non-financial measures like the Science Based Target Initiatives (for reducing the impact of plastic on the environment).
  1. To steer discussions responsibly and be sensitive to the interests of all stakeholders.
  • He concluded by advising on the following matters both as professionals whilst engaging with clients and also in their personal capacity:
  1. As professionals, we need to be responsible for our behaviour and its impact on society.
  1. A road map or plan needs to be developed to embrace sustainability.
  1. To assist in measuring and reporting on various ESG parameters since top management compensation is now aligned in greater measure with ESG parameters rather than financial parameters.
  1. We need to curb irresponsible usage and consumption in our personal capacity to preserve and sustain the environment.

BCAS Lecture Meetings are high-quality professional development sessions that are open-to-all to attend and participate. Missed the Lecture Meeting, but still interested in viewing the entire meeting video?

Visit the below link or scan the QR Code with your phone scanner app:

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvNOUp2Aj6I

QR Code:

 

  1. 75th Founding Day lecture meeting on India @2030

At the 75th Founding Day Lecture Meeting on India @2030, Sajjan Jindal, Chairman, JSW Group, began his keynote address by emphasising that the topic India @2030 is very close to his heart. He then proceeded by broadly touching upon the following areas:

  • The current decade will be India’s decade, and the time has come for the country to deliver, unlike the past, when we were like a pregnant lady who never delivered. He added that by 2030, India will be a very different country, and we will be proud of it. The stable governments in the last two decades, and especially the present government, have instilled a tremendous sense of pride coupled with a positive attitude which has resulted in awakening a sleeping giant.
  • He cited the example of the remarkable way in which the government navigated through the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst the performance of the other countries post the pandemic was affected like the increase in the US inflation by 30 times, India managed its economy fairly well. He felt that India’s moment has now arrived just like that of Japan at the end of the Second World War, and it is well positioned to become the third largest economy in the world following USA and China by the end of the decade.
  • Next, he touched on several reforms undertaken by the present government, like GST, Swachh Bharat, IBC and digitization which have resulted in greater awareness and responsible behavior amongst the citizens. He made a specific reference to the IBC which has alerted defaulters and made companies more careful whilst borrowing.

He proceeded by touching upon several advantages that will help us to be major player by 2030, and propel India towards a 30 trillion dollar economy. These include:

  1. The demographic dividend is evidenced by our young population. The large population is and will continue to be our strength unlike in the past when the Government had to resort to family planning, sometimes forcibly.
  1. The digitisation drive has resulted in better transparency and governance. It has also brought about reforms in healthcare and education.
  1. We have the potential to scale up the manufacturing capacity under the ‘China plus One’ policy and match the gap created by ‘China as a result’ of decline in its manufacturing capacity. He referred to the JSW Group increasing its capacity with an aim to become the best manufacturer of steel in India.
  1. The energy transition from fossil fuel-based to renewable energy will be a game changer, since the latter is much cheaper. He indicated that he aims to make JSW the first company in India to fully use renewable energy.
  1. Continuing reforms in the financial, banking and capital market sectors will help us towards being a 5 trillion dollar economy in the next five years.
  1. The global leadership role of India is increasing visibly, including the current G20 leadership.
  • He concluded his address by emphasising that the growth of JSW is due to the highest standards of corporate governance adopted. He also indicated that CAs are the first line of defense by providing a governance control mechanism, which is the surest way to achieving growth.

BCAS Lecture Meetings are high-quality professional development sessions which are open-to-all to attend and participate. Missed the Lecture Meeting, but still interested in viewing the entire meeting video?

Visit the below link or scan the QR Code with your phone scanner app:

 

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxxNfYuIVpU

QR Code:

 

  1. FEMA Study Circle meeting

FEMA organised a study circle meeting on the topics covering LRS and the new ODI regulations. The meeting included interactions with the AD Banker, Axis Bank.

The meeting was held online where the members asked various queries and got the responses from the viewpoint of the Banker.

The speakers at the meeting included Ronnie Quadros and Anjali Jain, Vice Presidents of Axis Bank. Both the group leaders gave their views on various issues in outbound investments and LRS such as repatriation of funds to be made within 180 days of the August 2022 circular even for the earlier remittances made and unutilised. Amongst other things, they also provided their view on the procedure to be followed in case of a change of residential status to a non-resident.

Apart from the above, various other doubts of the group were cleared by the group leaders that made the session interactive and facilitated group learning.

 

  1. Workshop on Strength — Pillars of Relationships

A hybrid workshop on the topic ‘Strength — Pillars of Relationship’ was held by the Society on 23rd June, 2023 at its premises. The workshop emphasised the following points:

  • It is important to have TRUST in relationships. This is one basis of any relationship and trust is built on Character & Competency (the basis for Trustworthiness). Both are required for building Trust.
  • It is also important to be AVAILABLE to each other as per mutual needs to have a strong relationship.
  • Another learning is that RESPECT is the most important element in the relationship. Respect for the other person, irrespective of their status, age, demography and educational background, builds a relationship.
  • We learned also about nine types of relationships and their features, e.g., Co-Dependent relationship between Doctor–Patient, husband–wife, etc.
  • Also, an important learning was that there are six types of unhealthy expectations, e.g., “Everyone will like me”. This kind of expectation leads to pretending to be “what I am NOT”! And we become incapable of accepting others’ opinions and judgements about us.
  • I don’t impose my views on my child and allow them to grow and flourish in their own way.
  • Also learned about 10 known worlds, e.g., the world of Buddhahood being the highest as complete and full of perfect freedom.
  • There are 20 ineffective habits, e.g., “Claiming credit that I do not deserve”, “Passing judgements on others”, and “Not listening to another person”. These habits come in the way for anyone to build healthy relationships.
  • Then we learned about the Characteristics of Good Relationships like Communication, Patience, Commitment, etc.
  • Overall, our awareness of how to build strong relationships has enhanced and this training will be of immense help in our development as a good human being.

 

  1. HRD Study Circle Meeting to celebrate International Yoga Day

The HRD committee of the society organised a study circle meeting on the “Simple Yoga Asanas” for all ages
to remain flexible and strong (Especially for the Busy Bee’s). The topic was presented by Mr Pradeep Thakkar, who:

  1. Explained and demonstrated exercises and benefits of common asanas for all ages to remain flexible, strong and healthy He also demonstrated exercises and explained benefits to get rid of osteo arthritis, knee pain, blood pressure, diabetes and be disease free.

Some more points elaborated by him on specific exercises included:

  1. Self-massage assana, which relaxes pain in the body.

      3. Pavan muktasana by which gases, in the body are released. It also gives relief from constipation and  strengthens digestive system. Also provides benefits by relieving mental and physical stress.

  1. Shalabhasana (locust pose) provides stability to the spine and lengthens the upper back and arm. It can strengthen lower back and pelvic organs, hip joints, legs and arms.
  1. Siddhasana improves posture and straightens spine, hips, chest and shoulders. It increases flexibility in your hips and inner thigh muscles.
  1. Tadasana improves posture, alignment and balance.
  1. Vajrasana is also good for digestion. It relieves low back pain.
  1. Shavasana calms the body and relieves stress, depression and insomnia.
  1. Bhujang asana is good for the lower back. It is also good for flexibility.

Further, Mr Thakkar taught a number of asanas for flexibility, osteo arthritis, BP, Diabetes, thyroid, etc. The meeting was attended by 93 members, out of which 31 attended physically while 62 members attended the meeting online.

 

Visit the below link or scan the QR Code with your phone scanner app:

 

YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etiZm6UJD40

QR Code:

 

  1. HRD Study Circle Meeting on effective communication

In the meeting held on 18th June, 2023, the HRD Study Circle discussed the benefits of effective communication. The topic for the meeting was, ‘Communicate to Convince. Creating Win-win situations.’ The meeting emphasised that it is very important to communicate with yourself and others in various situations. The purpose is met only when we communicate successfully to make the other understand and get convinced. Also, both parties have to be in a winning mode as a result of the communication. It is an art to communicate what you want and get what you want.

Some of the steps required for effective communication include:

  1. Creating a rapport.
  1. Getting to where the other person is.
  1. Bringing the person to where you want him to get in order that both you and the other person are mutually benefitted and get what each other wants.
  1. The process was explained with examples.
  1. NLP is a process that helps to give and convey the right meaning to the other person so that the person conveying the message and the person to whom it is conveyed is as required.
  1. A complimentary complete course in NLP, Speed Reading and Productivity is being offered by Knowledge and Karma for all BCAS Members.

 

  1. HRD Committee Workshop on Learning Technology for Senior CAs

The HRD Committee organised a half-day workshop for Senior CAs and their spouses. The workshop aimed to equip the participants with essential precautions while using technology and introduce them to valuable tools that can enhance their day-to-day lives.

The workshop was led by CA Yazdi Tantra, a highly regarded and experienced technologist. Mr Tantra shed light on the effective ways to safeguard against the various types of online fraud. Additionally, he provided valuable insights into spotting fake news amidst the vast ocean of information and misinformation on the internet.

The speaker addressed the pressing concerns surrounding online security and illuminated various tactics employed by cybercriminals to target unsuspecting individuals. Participants gained in-depth knowledge about common types of cyber fraud, including phishing, identity theft, and online scams. Moreover, they learned practical steps to strengthen their digital defence, protecting their sensitive data and financial assets.

Further, the workshop delved into the art of distinguishing genuine news from fake news, rumours, and misleading content. Participants acquired valuable techniques to critically analyse information and make informed decisions, thereby minimising the spread of misinformation.

Participants actively participated in discussions and real-life scenarios to apply the knowledge gained during the session. This approach ensured a more profound understanding of the subject matter and encouraged open dialogues among attendees.

 

  1. Suburban Study Circle Meeting on “Audit Trail — Compliance under CARO 2020 and Practical Challenges”

The Suburban Study Circle Meeting on the topic “Audit Trail — Compliance under CARO 2020 and Practical Challenges”, was held by CA Taher Pepermintwala as a Group Leader.

Making an insightful presentation, Taher shared his views on the following:

  • Elaborate meaning and inclusions in ‘Audit Trail’
  • Applicability of Audit Trail to various classes of companies and LLP
  • Statutory provisions of Audit Trail under the Companies Act, 2013
  • Regulatory implications for CA / CS professionals and matters to be included in the audit report
  • Management responsibility
  • Compliance checkpoints
  • Illustration of an Audit Trail in various accounting systems
  • Other practical challenges

The knowledgeable and practical session coveredall the points with numerous case studies to make it simpler for the group to understand it better.

The session had wonderful interactive participation from the group. A large number of queries from the participants were addressed satisfactorily by the group leader. Taher’s command of the subject was well appreciated by the group. The senior and experienced members’ guidance and experiences on certain issues enriched the discussion.

The participants benefited from the elaborate presentation shared by the group leader.

 

  1. Indirect Tax Laws Study Circle Meeting on GST Refunds

The Indirect Tax Laws Study Circle organised a meeting on the topic, ‘Practical Issues in GST Refunds’. The group leader and speaker CA Shuchi Sethi prepared seven case studies, including a presentation covering the intricacies, on the following topics:

  1. Refund of ITC on exports under LUT
  2. Inverted rated turnover for Refund under inverted duty structure
  3. Third proviso to section 54(3)
  4. Calculation of Net ITC for Refunds under 89(4) and 89(5)
  5. Relevant Date after Deficiency Memo
  6. Refund of ineligible credit by exporters
  7. Refund of tax paid on excess rates in case of all-inclusive price contracts

More than 100 participants from across India benefitted, participating in the meeting under the able guidance of the group mentor CA Jignesh Kansara.

 

  1. Workshop on the Use of Technology in Audit

A half-day workshop on the ‘Use of Technology in Audit’ was held by the Society on 30th June, 2023. The workshop envisioned to enable audit professionals to leverage technology solutions in planning and executing audit engagement.

The workshop began with Speaker CA A Rafeq giving insights on ‘Developing Strategies for Automation and Designing Parameters for Evaluation and Selection of Audit Automation Software’. The moderator for the workshop was CA Amit Majmudar.

The workshop provided a platform to various technology solution vendors to showcase how audit professionals can implement their products and benefit from them. The softwares demonstrated were: Auditors Desk, AudTech and AssureAI.

The third part was a panel discussion amongst audit professionals where leaders shared their experiences, insights, challenges and achievements from implementing technology solutions in audit engagements. The panelists CA Gautam Shah, CA Guru Prasad, CA Nemish Kapadia and moderator CA Amit Majmudar kept the audiences engaged and enthused throughout.

The workshop witnessed a fabulous registration of 100 participants. It succeeded in achieving its objectives as the participants concluded the sessions with a “thunderous round of applause”!

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