Audits for Private Limited Companies
After successfully registering a private limited company, adherence to various compliances outlined in the Companies Act 2013 becomes paramount. Among these obligations, the mandatory requirement of conducting audits, irrespective of turnover or nature, is critical. This article delves into the nuances of private limited company audits, exploring types, appointment processes, and essential filing requirements.
Understanding Company Audits:
A company audit, a meticulous examination of its books of account, is imperative to ensure accuracy. Appointing an auditor is a requisite, with the primary objective being the expression of an informed opinion on the company’s financial statements. This annual compliance requirement, mandated by the Companies Act and Company Law Rules, involves scrutinizing various financial documents.
Types of Audits for Private Limited Companies:
Every private limited company must conduct a statutory audit regardless of profit or turnover. Even companies incurring losses fall under this obligation. The audit aims to validate the accuracy of the company’s financial situation, examining books of account, bank balances, and financial statements.
Private limited companies meeting specific criteria, such as a turnover of Rs. 200 crores or more or significant borrowings, must conduct internal audits. These audits, suggested by internal management, assess financial status and operational efficiency, aiding in making necessary changes for enhanced effectiveness.
Companies engaged in specific production or service activities, with designated turnovers, must perform cost audits as per the Companies (Cost Records and Audit) Rules, 2014. The audit ensures compliance with cost-related regulations and mandates.
Appointment of Auditors:
- Statutory Auditor: Within 30 days of registration, a private limited company must appoint its first auditor, confirmed by shareholders at the first Annual General Meeting (AGM). The appointed auditor holds the position for a five-year term, restricted to independent practising Chartered Accountants, CA firms, or LLPs, with most partners practising in India.
- Internal Auditor: Internal audits can be conducted by the company’s internal staff or an independent party, such as a CA or cost accountant. The choice depends on the board’s decision, ensuring a comprehensive review of the company’s financial and operational aspects.
- Cost Auditor: Companies mandated to perform cost audits must appoint a cost auditor within 180 days of the financial year’s commencement. The appointed auditor must be a practising cost accountant, defined by the Cost and Works Accountants Act 1959.
Due Dates for Audits:
- Statutory Audit: The audit report must be attached to Form AOC-4 and filed with the Registrar of Companies (ROC) within 30 days of the AGM. The AGM should be held before or on September 30 each year.
- Internal Audit: There is no specific due date for internal audits. The internal auditor must submit a report to the board before the AGM, and the auditor’s report should be filed with Form AOC-4.
- Cost Audit: The cost audit report must be submitted to the board by September 30 each year in form CRA-3. The board, upon examination, submits the report to the Central Government within 30 days in form CRA-4.
ROC Forms for Audit Requirements:
Private limited companies need to file various ROC forms related to audit requirements:
- Form ADT-1: Appointment of company auditor
- Form AOC-4: Annual filing of company financial statements
- Form MGT-7: Filing of company annual return
- Form CRA-2: Appointment of cost auditor
- Form CRA-3: Submission of cost audit records to the board
- Form CRA-4: Filing of cost audit report
Non-filing these forms and submitting audit reports attract penalties, underscoring the significance of complying with audit requirements.
In conclusion, navigating the audit landscape for private limited companies involves a meticulous understanding of statutory, internal, and cost audits. Compliance with audit requirements, timely appointments, and accurate filing of ROC forms is imperative for avoiding penalties and ensuring the company’s financial health and operational efficiency. Understanding these processes is crucial for directors, auditors, and stakeholders in fostering a robust and transparent corporate environment.