India: Reporting On Internal Financial Controls System And Its Operating Effectiveness

Last Updated: 22 October 2015
Article by S.C. Vasudeva & Co.

Guest Author: Munish Saraogi
Chartered Accountant

Clause (e) of Section 134(5) of the Companies Act, 2013 requires that The Directors' Responsibility Statement referred to in clause (c) of sub-section (3) shall state that—

(e) the directors, in the case of a listed company, had laid down internal financial controls to be followed by the company and that such internal financial controls are adequate and were operating effectively.

Section 143(3)(i) of the Act requires that auditor should state in his report that:

"Whether the Company has adequate internal financial controls system in place and the operating effectiveness of such controls"

Definition of Internal Control as defined in the Companies Act, 2013

The Companies Act, 2013 has defined internal control in two places. One definition is given under Section 134(5) (e). Another definition is given in Section 134(10) by way of inclusion of Standard on Auditing. Auditing Standards which are now part of the Companies Act, 2013, by virtue of Section 143(10) defines internal control as follows:

Definition as per Section 134(5) of the Companies Act, 2013 Definition as per SA 315
Explanation.--For the purposes of this clause, the term "internal financial controls" means the policies and procedures adopted by the company for ensuring the orderly and efficient conduct of its business, including adherence to company's policies, the safeguarding of its assets, the prevention and detection of frauds and errors, the accuracy and completeness of the accounting records, and the timely preparation of reliable financial information; Internal control – The process designed, implemented and maintained by those charged with governance, management and other personnel to provide reasonable assurance about the achievement of an entity's objectives with regard to reliability of financial reporting, effectiveness and efficiency of operations, safeguarding of assets, and compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The term "controls" refers to any aspects of one or more of the components of internal control.

It may be noted that both the definition are not similar at the same time they have vast coverage.

Further, it may be noted that both Management and the Auditor will need to follow both the definition as given in the charging Section 143 i.e. as per Standard on Auditing and also the definition given in Section 134(5). Standards on Auditing are applicable to all the companies and are mandatorily required to be followed.

Distinction between Internal Financial Control and Operating Control

It may be noted that Internal Controls and policies can be applied by the management for various operational activities of the Company.

A question arises whether auditor is required to comment on all the controls of the Company or only those which are related to Financial Controls. A close review of above definitions suggests that only the Financial Controls as required to be reported in SA 315 is the auditor's responsibility for reporting. This is also termed as ''Internal controls relating to financial reporting'.

Management on the other hand may have more controls relating to various operations of the Company viz. Shop Floor management etc. Unless they impact financial reporting they would not come under preview of above section.

Auditors Duty

Auditor while ascertaining the operating and effectiveness of control will have to comply with all the requirements enumerated in SA 315 and document his findings.

Documentation of Auditor should therefore needs to be robust enough to demonstrate that he has looked into the Internal Controls for each assertion and mapped them to various risks in respect of account balances and each class of transaction.

Management's Responsibility

The approach of new Companies Act is of self-governance and in case of non-governance, stringent penalties are provided in the Act. Management should therefore, be cautious to take following steps to ensure that there exist a proper internal control system.

  1. Review existing process and map them with risks & controls and ensure that they are adequate.
  2. Improve the process and controls wherever it is observed that process is slack.
  3. Assess Fraud Risk and built processes around the same so that risk is minimised.
  4. Test Internal controls so formed on regular basis and ensure that processes are working effectively.
  5. In-house team may be assigned this task or a consultant may also be appointed in the first year of implementation.

What are the consequences when auditor concludes that internal controls were not effective?

  1. The Auditor report will include a qualified opinion. Not only merely for internal control, but also under section 143(3)(f) of the Act as non-existence of appropriate internal control can also have adverse affect on the functioning of the Company.
  2. It can be safely concluded that non existence of internal control would imply that existence of Fraud cannot be effectively monitored and the financial statements would lack credibility.
  3. Credit rating agencies will take it negatively also it may affect negotiation power of the entity with borrowers.


The requirement of internal control is now legally mandated. In respect of the listed companies, it is by virtue of Section 134(5) of the Companies Act, 2013. Private limited companies are covered by inclusion of Standard on Auditing, in the Companies Act and reporting requirement by auditors. It is therefore, suggested that all the companies should re-visit the existing internal controls and strengthens them to ensure that whenever they are tested will not fail.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.