Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called for creating four big Indian accounting firms that are counted among the world’s Big-8 even as he cautioned CAs against misuse of their all-powerful signature. He said the signature of a chartered accountant is more powerful than even that of a prime minister and the government also believes the accounts signed by them. “Your signature carries immense faith, please do not break that trust that is placed in you,” Modi told the CA community while talking about old women and other people investing in mutual funds and other schemes on the basis of their faith in the reports signed by the auditors.
Referring to the ‘Big 4’ — a term used for the world’s four biggest audit firms — the prime minister said there are so many accounting firms in India but none of them has managed to find a place among the top global players. “People talk of the Big 4 accounting firms. Sadly, there is no Indian firm there. By 2022, let us have a Big 8, where 4 firms are Indian,” Modi said while addressing the CAs on the Foundation Day of the ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants in India).
The top global accountancy firms include PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG. Modi said CAs also have a big role to play post the GST rollout and also in the context of the new insolvency and bankruptcy law. He said a new India is waiting and the CAs have a big responsibility as they form a key pillar of the Indian economy. Modi also exhorted CAs to work towards bringing their clients to the path of honesty, rather than helping them avoid paying taxes.
“Like the lawyers did during the freedom struggle, I urge the CAs to take the lead in the journey towards India’s economic growth,” he said. “We will always remember how the community of professionals took a lead during the freedom struggle of India,” he added.
“The CA community looks after the economic health of the society,” he said, while equating their role to that of the doctors. “Parliament has given you a big responsibility of certifying and auditing the accounts… You are tasked to ensure that the economic health of the society remains fine. You form a big pillar of the country’s economy,” he said.