July 1 is celebrated as Chartered Accountants Day to commemorate the establishment of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) by an Act of Parliament in 1949. The day is also celebrated to recognize the contribution of Chartered Accountants to nation building. .
ICAI, the only accrediting and regulating body for the accountancy and financial auditing profession in India. It also has the distinction of being one of the oldest professional institutes in the country. It was formed a year before the country’s constitution was even formalized. ICAI, with almost 2.5 lakh members is also the second largest accounting organization in the world after the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CPA).
The official ICAI emblem given by SRI Aurobindo has a ‘garuda’ and a quote from the Upnishads – ‘Ya esha supteshu jagriti’, which translates to one who is awake in those who sleep. The first certificate issued by ICAI was awarded to CA Gopaldas Padamsey Kapadia, who also served as the institute’s first president.
Prior to India’s independence, British government rules required companies to keep track of their accounts under the Companies Act. A chartered accountant was also to be appointed to keep the books.
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However, in the absence of a regulatory body, confusion regarding the qualifications of auditors has arisen. In 1948, a committee of experts appointed by the independent Indian government recommended the establishment of a separate self-governing association of accountants to regulate the profession in the country. Acting on the recommendation, the government established the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) under the Chartered Accountants Act 1949.
Chartered Accountants Day, the founding day of the ICAI, celebrates and honors the contribution of CAs to the country. The role of a CA is very crucial in any business, regardless of the nature of the business. CAs are responsible for ensuring that every financial activity is carried out in accordance with the provisions of the laws in India.