The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has issued an advisory that Members of ICAI can not mention quantum of Fees (including free of charge), whatsoever, by members in any Advertisement of services or posting of particulars.
Certain concerns have been raised by members as to whether it is permissible to advertise the services rendered by them, while also mentioning that Professional Fees with regard to individuals engaged in Community service would be charged lesser than what is usually charged by them/ free of charge basis.
As the members are aware, the advertisement of services is generally prohibited vide provisions of Clauses (6) and (7) of Part-I of First Schedule to The Chartered Accountants Act, 1949. However, in accordance with proviso to Clause (7), the advertisement of services has been permitted vide “write-up” , subject to Guidelines issued by the Council .
In accordance thereof, the Council had issued Advertisement Guidelines No.1-CA(7)/Council Guidelines/01/2008,dated 14th May,2008.
The members may thus advertise through a write up setting out their particulars or of their firms and services provided by them in conformity with the said Guidelines.
As per the said Guidelines, the “write up” refers to “writing of particulars according to the information given in the Guidelines setting out services rendered by the Members or firms and any writing or display of the particulars of the Member(s) in Practice or of firm(s) issued, circulated or published by way of print or electronic mode or otherwise including in newspapers, Journals, magazines and websites (in Push as well in Pull mode) in accordance with the Guidelines.”
Further, as per the said Guidelines, the “write-up” may include only the information expressly permitted under the said Guidelines.
It may be noted that mentioning professional Fees for the services rendered is not appearing as a permitted entry under the Advertisement Guidelines.
As the members are further aware, the Website Guidelines of the Institute govern the rules for posting of particulars on the Website of Chartered Accountant(s) in practice and firm(s) of Chartered Accountants in practice. As per S.no. 6(ix) of the Website Guidelines :-
“………Names of clients and fee charged cannot be given.”
In view of the above provisions, it is clear that the mandate of posting any particular(s) on Firm’s own website or advertisement through write -up cannot exceed the authority granted respectively vide the Website Guidelines and Advertisement Guidelines of the Institute under any circumstances.
Accordingly, it is clarified that the quantum of Fees (including free of charge), whatsoever, should not be mentioned by members in any Advertisement of services or posting of particulars.