Norms of Auditing Co-operative Housing Societies in Maharashtra.
Laws Applicable to Co-op. Housing Societies
1) The Maharashtra Co-op. Societies Act, 1960 (MCS Act) – having 167 sections effective from 26/1/1962 and The Maharashtra Co-op. Societies Rules, 1961 – having 110 rules effective from 23/12/1963.
2) The Income Tax Act, 1961 and Rules.
3) The Service Tax Act and Rules
4) The Bombay Stamp Act or The Indian Stamp Act
5) The Indian Contract Act 1872, Transfer of Property Act 1882 & Sale of Goods Act 1930.
6) Law of Limitation.
7) Circulars, Notifications and directives issued from time to time by the respective departments of co-operation.
8 ) Byelaws of the Society.
9) Accounting Standards – Policies & Guidelines.
Types of Audit
- Statutory audit u/s.81(1)
- Flying Squad audit u/s. 81(3)(b)
- Re-audit u/s. 81(3)(c)
- Internal audit
Specific Features of Audit
Note: [All sections / rules stated herein below pertain to MCS Act and rules unless otherwise stated].
Chapter VIII of the MCS Act and Chapter VII of the MCS Rules deal with Audit, Inquiry, Inspection and Supervision.
1) Appointment and Fees
- Sec.81(1)(a) – Certain societies to be audited by the Registrar’s auditors.
- Sec.81(1)(b) – Other societies to get accounts audited from panel of auditors maintained by the Registrar or by a C.A. holding certificate in co-operative audit issued by ICAI.
- Rule 69(1) – Audit to be conducted by Departmental Auditors or by Certified Auditors which includes Chartered Accountants, certain diploma holders and ex-staff of co-op. department.
- Appointment is done by the Registrar or on behalf of the Registrar and report has to be submitted to the Registrar.
- Rule 74 – The scale of fees which are fixed by the Registrar (Order No. CC/ADT/Scale of Fees of 92 dt. 15th May, 1992).
2) Rights, Duties and Reporting
- Sec. 81 and Rule 69 outline rights and duties of Auditor and report to be submitted by him.
- Sec. 81(5) – Auditor has right to receive notice of and attend Annual General Meeting.
- Rule 69(2) – Audit to be conducted for all the previous completed years for which the audit has not been done (provided no Auditor appointed or Auditor has resigned).
- Sec. 81(5B) & Rule 69(3) – Besides audit report, Auditor to submit Audit Memorandum in the prescribed format. Form 1 is a general format for all types of audit. In addition, separate formats prescribed for each type of society
- Rule 69(7) – Summary of Audit Memorandum prepared by the Auditors required to be read in general meeting.
- Rule 69(9) – Statutory Auditor to award audit classification (A, B, C, D) to Society based on certain criteria. For this purpose, dept. has issued certain guidelines (Cir.No.CC/ADT/A/UGB/A.B/ of 1992 dt. 29th July,1992) followed by Circular No. CC/ADT/A/ACB/AC/15/2005 dated 7th January 2005 issued by Honorable Commissioner of Co-operation of Maharashtra.
3) Books / Registers required to be maintained [in addition to regular books of accounts]
Sec.79 & Rule 65 :
- Register of Members (Form ‘I’) – Sec. 38, Rule 32
- List of Members in Form ‘J’ – Sec.39, Rule 33
- Register of shares
- Minute books of general meetings and board meetings.
- Nomination Register.
- Register of audit objections and rectifications in Form ‘O’ – Rule 73
4) Audit of Statement of Accounts
- Rule 61 – Annual statement of accounts to be prepared within 45 days of the close of the co-op. year.
- Rule 62 – The Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss Account has to be prepared in Form ‘N’ by all the societies.
- During 1st audit, the Registration Certificate with the common seal has to be verified.
- Sec.45 – Restriction on transactions of a society with non-members.
- All appropriations are entered into the books of accounts after it is approved by AGM Sec.65.
- Rule 107-B – Security to be furnished by officers and employees handling cash.
- Sec. 110 – On liquidation, the balance may be divided amongst members or utilised for objects of the society.
(i) Membership, Share Capital & Voting :
· Under this head, “individuals’ means share capital of all excluding co-operative institutions and State Government. Under Sec.22, a firm, a public trust, a local authority, a society or any body corporate can become member.
· Sec.28 – Besides verifying the books stated hereinbefore, Auditor has to ensure that no member holds shares exceeding 1/5 of the share capital of the Society or Rs.20,000/- whichever is less.
· Rule 20 – Shares can be issued in joint names. Minors and persons of unsound mind, inheriting the share of a deceased member, can also be admitted as member through their legal representatives or guardians.
· Sec.29(2)(a) – A member cannot transfer his shares until he has held it for one year.
· Sec.30, Rule 25 – Nomination is permitted, including nomination of a minor or a person of unsound mind.
· Sec.29 – Society allowed to buy back its shares from its members on their resignation etc., upto a maximum of 10% of the paid-up share capital every year.
· Rule 23 – Amount to be paid back is based on the valuation of his share, which in no case can exceed the amount paid for the purchase of those shares.
· Sec.27 – There is a principle of “One Man One Vote”.
· Sec.27 – During meetings, no proxies are allowed except the ones that are specifically allowed by the Registrar.
· Rule 21 – A member can resign by giving 3 month’s notice.
· Sec.35, Rule 28 – A member can be expelled from society by a resolution passed by not less than ¾ of members, which may also involve forfeiture of his shares.
(ii) Reserve Fund & Other Reserves :
(a) Statutory Reserves :
- Sec.66 – Atleast 1/4 of the net profits to be transferred to Reserve Fund. Registrar has power to reduce it upto 1/10 only. As per this section, subject to the rules and byelaws, the Fund can be used in the business of the society.
- Rule 54 – Reserve Fund in excess of the paid up share capital only can be used in the business with the permission of the Registrar.·
- Reserve Fund has to be invested in modes specified in Sec.70 read with Rule 54.
- Rule 54(2) – These funds which are invested, cannot be drawn upon, pledged or used except with the prior written permission of the Registrar.
(b) Education Fund of State Federal Society:
Sec.68 – A fund created out of annual contributions given by societies to State Federal Society at the rates specified in Rule 53. For Maharashtra, the federal society is Maharashtra Rajya Sahakari Sangh Ltd., Pune, which utilizes this amount for education and training in co-operation. This amount is payable irrespective of whether the society earns a profit or not and whether a society has declared a dividend or not. The amount has to be paid within 3 months after the close of co-operative year.
(c) Sinking Fund
Rule 51(I) – A fund created to ensure due fulfillments of Major repair & (if guarantee given by Government in respect of loans raised by the society.)
(i) Additional Funds (Optional)
Special Reserve Fund, Building Fund, Members Welfare Fund, Staff Welfare Fund, Charity Fund etc. – For all these funds, rules have to be framed for its formation, additions and use.
(ii) Deposits and Other Accounts :
· Under this head, deposits from “Individuals” means all deposits excluding those from central co-operative banks and other societies.
(iii) Borrowings :
· Sec.43 – In case of a society, which has taken any financial assistance from the Government in the form of share capital, loan or guarantee, the amount such society can receive as deposits and loans from its members and other persons is subject to restrictions laid down in Rule 35 and in its byelaws. There are also restrictions on the society for acceptance of deposits from trust, local bodies etc.
· Rule 35 – A society without the previous sanction of the Registrar cannot incur liability exceeding in total ten times the total amount of its paid up share capital, accumulated reserve fund and building fund minus accumulated losses. Any excess liability incurred is to be deposited with Central Banks and not used in business of society.
· Rule 46A – Restrictions on borrowings from non-members.
(i) Cash:-· Rule 107C – Maximum cash holding limits prescribed for certain societies. Excess cash has to be deposited in an approved bank within 3 days. limits prescribed for Co-op. housing societies, it is Rs.300/-.
(ii) Balance with Other Banks :-· Permission required to open bank accounts with other scheduled banks.
(iii) Investments :-· Investment of funds to be done only in modes specified in Sec.70 of the MCS Act, read with Rule 55.
(v) Fixed Assets :-No specific provision for depreciation and its rates under the Act. However, Sec.65(1), read with Rule 49A under point (vi) states that for calculating net profit, depreciation has to be deducted from gross profit.
Profit & Loss Account
· Sec.65 – Net Profits to be determined after deducting exps. as provided in Rule 49-A.
· As per Accounting Standards, mercantile system of accounting to be followed, but Act is silent on this aspect. However reading Rule 49A regarding depreciation, various provisions for income tax, bad and doubtful debts, investment fluctuation, retirement benefits etc., Form ‘N’ of MCS Rules and Form ‘A’ & ‘B’ of B.R. Act, it implies that accounts have to be maintained on mercantile basis.
· Rule 107-A – Maximum rates of travelling and daily allowance and sitting fees for committee members.
· Sec.68 – Compulsory provision for payment of Education Fund to State Federal Society to be made, which is a charge on Profit & Loss Account and has to be paid within 3 months after the close of the co-operative year (Rates given in Rule 53).
5) Rectification:- Sec.82, Rule 73 – Within 3 months from the date of the statutory audit report, the society has to submit a Rectification Report in Form ‘O’.