Software to boost co-op audit process

A software named e-Prakash, which was launched on Thursday by the Maharashtra Cooperatives Department, is expected to bring transparency in the audit allotment of urban co-operative banks to audit firms and individual auditors across the state. The software, which is initiated under e-governance, is the brainchild of Commissioner and Registrar of Cooperative Societies (Maharashtra) Rajagopal Devara.

"Ideally, big audit firms should be doing audit of big banks. Since the audit allotment was done manually till now, the bigger firms used to end up doing audit of small banks and vice versa. But now, firms who have good work experience, manpower and good track record will get to audit banks with high deposit. Within a day's time of the software's launch, more than 121 auditors have accepted audit of different firms," said Dinesh Oulkar, additional commissioner, Maharashtra Cooperatives Department.

There are 517 urban co-operative banks in the state and there are 1,558 chartered accountants registered with Western India Regional Council (WIRC), the Institute of Chartered Accountant of India (ICAI), Delhi. These chartered accountants were rated by ICAI depending upon their work expertise and experience in the field. "The ratio of banks and audit firms is 1:3. The software will facilitate equal and fair distribution of work. The allotment of the bank audit will be proportionate to the size of the firm, which are divided into three groupsólarge size, mid size and small size," said Dinesh Gandhi, chairman, cooperative committee of WIRC. Gandhi said that the project is the first one to be implemented for the urban co-operative banks in Maharashtra and will be replicated later all over India.

Elaborating it, Oulkar said, "At present, the bank with the highest deposit is Pune Janata Bank with a deposit of more than Rs 2500 crore. So the firm that has got the highest rating by WIRC will be doing the audit of Pune Janata Bank."

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