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Firms picked for CA peer review

New Delhi, Jan. 25: The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has shortlisted 247 chartered accountancy firms to conduct peer reviews on other chartered accountants (CAs) to check possible malpractices. ICAI officials today said the apex body was issuing notices to 247 selected practice units out of the 987 eligible units.

ICAI will give each firm, whose accountants are being mandatorily audited, the freedom to select from a panel of reviewers. Their job will be to sample the audit done and see that it is free of biases and malpractices.

Selected reviewers will be specially trained for the job. The process of actual conduct, reporting and issuance of certificate for these selected practice units is likely to be completed by June.

Peer Review Board chairman Sunil Bhargava said to ensure objectivity in selection of practice units, it has been done through computerised random sampling, based on globally acceptable software developed for this purpose.

The board has empanelled about 1,500 reviewers to conduct the peer review. Intensive training programmes have been organised by the board to train these reviewers, to ensure uniformity and consistency in conducting the reviews.

The council of ICAI released plans on peer review in April 2002 to meet the demands of high quality assurance, consistency and greater transparency in the wake of audit scams across the globe.

Reviews will, however, not have any disciplinary or other regulatory powers. These will be the domain of ICAI.

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