Tuesday, 25 August 2015

What are the benefits of Secretarial Audit?

Secretarial Audit can be an effective multi-pronged weapon to assure the regulator, generate confidence amongst the shareholders, the creditors and other stakeholders in companies, assure FIIs/FIs/SFCs/SIDCs/Banks and instill self regulation and professional discipline in companies. It is a tool of risk mitigation and will allow companies to effectively address compliance
risk issues. It helps the companies to build their corporate image. Secretarial Audit facilitates monitoring compliances with the requirements of law through a formal compliance management programme which can produce positive results to the stakeholders of a company:
(a) Promoters
Secretarial Audit assures the promoters of a company that those in-charge of its management are conducting its affairs in accordance with the requirements of laws and the owners‟ stake is not being exposed to unintended risk.
(b) Non-executive/Independent directors
Secretarial Audit provides comfort to the Non-executive/Independent Directors that appropriate mechanisms and processes are in place to ensure compliance with laws applicable to the company, thus mitigating any risk from a regulatory or governance perspective.
(c) Government authorities/regulators
It also facilitates reducing the burden of the regulators in ensuring compliances and they can take timely actions against the offenders.
(d) Investors
Secretarial Audit helps the investors in taking informed investment decision, as it evaluates the company in terms of compliance and governance norms being followed by the company.
(e) Other Stakeholders
It is an effective due diligence exercise for the prospective investors or joint venture partners. Further Financial Institutions, Banks, Creditors and Consumers can measure the law abiding nature of company management.
(f) Benefits to the company itself
— Companies that go the extra mile with their compliance programs lay the foundation for good governance. — Companies with an effective compliance management programme have lesser chance of receiving penalties, both monetary and by way of imprisonment. — Companies that imbibe business and personal ethics and an effective compliance management programme within their work culture often enjoy employee and customer loyalty and public respect for their brand, which can translate into better market capitalization and shareholder returns.
- Recognition for the company as a good corporate citizen.
The Secretarial Audit provides an in-built mechanism for enhancing corporate compliance generally and help restore the confidence of investors in the capital market through greater transparency in corporate functioning.

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