J&K govt gradually switches over to e-Audit mode

TNN Bureau. Updated: 10/31/2020 10:56:55 AM Front Page

Jammu: To overcome the constraints for physical audit of records in an Auditee entity in situations like Covid-19 Pandemic and as an adaptive strategy, more importantly, to bring an element of technological intervention in Audit exercise, Jammu and Kashmir Government has gradually switched over to e-Audit mode to eliminate physical visits, reduce auditor-auditee interface and ensure optimal use of time and resources.
Official sources in the Finance Department here told ‘The News Now’ that the Audit organization shall shift to e-Audit in a gradual manner, adding, “an e-audit platform shall be devised through NIC for this purpose and e-audit commenced on pilot basis in at least fifty offices during financial year 2020-21.”
Sources further said that the Audit organization shall exclusively shift to e-audit mode in a phased manner in next three years and during e-audit the auditee shall be asked to submit records, as per a devised checklist, electronically for examination by the Auditors.
“The auditors may ask for additional/subsidiary records as and when required and in case a detailed physical examination of records is felt necessary; the Auditors shall visit the concerned office for the purpose with a prior notice, after obtaining approval for such physical visit from the Deputy Director,” they added.
Sources said that physical visit for examination of records shall be concluded within one or two days while all e-audit reports shall be issued to the Auditee; concerned HOD and other offices in electronic mode and replies also obtained and processed electronically.
“Any major irregularities coming to notice of audit, especially those pertaining to current operations, shall be reported to the higher authorities in the department immediately for taking corrective measures,” sources further said adding that the Audit organization shall also keep a repository of all e-audit records and ensure its confidentiality.
“Absence of a Manual to lay down a structured framework for the Audit was being felt over a period of time and an attempt has been made to fill the gap,” they said.
Official sources further said that the Manual also outlines professional standards to be maintained by the Audit Personnel and it also prescribes a mechanism for Audit Follow up and Review at various levels so that Audit exercise is taken to some result oriented conclusion.
In other major types of Audits government will also introduce ‘Snap Audit’ that are based on test check instances, since verifying each and every documents and records is quite time consuming.
“While conducting snap audit the auditors should utilize their professional acumen to ensure that all major activities in general and all risk prone areas in particular are covered under the audit,” they said.
However, under ‘Special Audits’, official sources said that this form of audit looks at a specific area of an organization’s programmes, functions and activities.
Directorate of Audit and Inspections shall give due consideration to a request for special audit provided that every such request is made with the approval of the competent authority, state the justification and reasons that necessitate special audit, including the results of any primary inquiry investigation or study that may have already been conducted and specifies the period to be covered in the special audit and broad Terms of Reference, they added.
Meanwhile under ‘Concurrent Audit’, sources said that it is a systematic and timely examination of transactions to ensure accuracy, authenticity, compliance with procedures and guidelines.
“The auditee can be given on-spot instructions/guidelines for taking necessary corrective measures and the concurrent audit evaluation should form a specific, significant part of the audit report,” they said.
Moreover, Treasury Audit occupies a pivotal place in the fiscal environment of the Government as guardian of state exchequer, since all payments/disbursements on behalf of Govt. (except off- treasury transactions) are made through the treasury system.
“As such, the audit also should pay special focus on evaluation of treasury functioning as a part of the audit plan, especially towards the closing of the financial year,” they said.
Besides, official sources said that the auditors shall have general checks on optimal use of Treasury net Application by all officers / officials as per job profile to ensure the system is not over dependent on technical staff, monthly statements of pension/family pension/DA arrears paid by the banks and its reimbursement, PPO halves transferred to banks to ascertain whether T.O has undertaken mandatory half yearly verification of pension fixation, Budget Control Register/allotment register, variation between treasury and bank cash balances, Hundi issued and payment register, monthly plus minus statements, deposit registers and receipt and payment cash book.

Comment on this Story