It’s with some relief that I report that SEBI won’t be demanding quarterly audited statements after all (as I’d reported earlier). It’s not clear what happened, but it seems that someone at Reuters misread the SEBI circular.
“I don’t know any country that requires audited quarterly filings for companies. That would be a Full Employment Act for accountants…” said Bala Ganga Dharan, one of my IIMA Facebook friends with some skepticism. He was convinced Reuters had it wrong. He was right.
What the circular actually says is that companies listed on the stock exchange must report quarterly results within 45 days, either audited or unaudited-with-limited-review. (Before, a company would have to declare unaudited results within 30 days, or audited results within 60 days of the quarter’s end.) And if a company chooses not to declare quarterly results at year end, it must submit audited annual results within 60 days of the year-end.
Listed companies must disclose their half-year assets and liabilities (instead of only the annual balance sheet) – not quarterly.
(The circular actually goes into other issues: getting auditor sign-offs on mergers and the like; providing for voluntary adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards; peer review of auditors; CFO appointments to be vetted by the company’s Audit Committee.)