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Statutory Bank Audits : UDIN mandatory or not
You may be aware that Unique Document Identification Number (UDIN) has been made mandatory as per the council decision taken at its 379th meeting held on 17th – 18th December, 2018 in the following phases:
- All certification done by practicing Chartered Accountants with effect from 1st February 2019.
- All GST and tax audit reports with effect from 1st April 2019.
- All other attest functions with effect from 1st July 2019.
As the Statutory Bank Audits are about to begin there is a big question mark regarding :
Whether UDIN is mandatory for Statutory Bank Audit?
In a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has clarified that though UDIN is mandatory for GST & Tax Audit Reports from Tomorrow, it is not applicable to Statutory Bank Audits.
Considering the fact that Bank Audit is about to commence, UDIN Monitoring Group of the ICAI has come out with detailed FAQs on UDIN for Bank Audit.
“For Statutory Bank Audit, UDIN is not mandatory. However, for all Certificates to be signed while conducting Bank Audit, generation of UDIN is mandatory as UDIN is already mandatory on all Certification w.e.f 1st, 2019,” the document said.
“UDIN has been made mandatory in a phased manner, i.e. on certification done by practising Chartered Accountants with effect from 1st February 2019, on GST and tax audit reports with effect from 1st April 2019, and on all other attest functions with effect from 1st July 2019. Since 1st February 2019, more than 3.68 lakh UDINs have been issued. I request my professional colleagues to take note of the above schedule of mandating UDIN and adhere to the same while discharging their attest functions,” ICAI Chief CA. Prafulla P. Chhajed said.
The FAQ has also said that the UDIN has to be generated per Assignment per Signatory. “In Bank Branch Audit, One Branch is one assignment, hence, one UDIN for all certificates will suffice. However, care should be taken that a list of all certificates bearing same UDIN should be compiled and handed over to management under a covering letter so that the UDIN generated cannot be misused by affixing on any other certificate which has not been signed by you,” it said.
It further said that in the Bank Branch Audit, separate UDIN has to be taken for Tax Audit.
“Tax Audit is the separate assignment. Hence separate UDINs have to be taken while conducting Bank Branch Audit for each Branch. Therefore, 2 separate UDINs are to be generated – one for Certificates and other for Tax Audit Report. However, if certificates are signed by more than one partner then more UDINs on certificates have to be generated,” it added.
It further clarified that UDIN will be applicable both for manually as well as digitally signed Reports / uploaded online. In the case of digitally signed / online reports, UDIN has to be generated and retained for providing the same on being asked by any third party/ authority.