We are going to complete First Anniversary of India biggest leap of indirect tax reform called Goods and Services Tax. We will certainly deal with monthly ease of doing business and have more Industry friendly changes in the GST filing system on the way to make the data collection easy and foolproof for the government.
GST Audit format has been signed and sealed by The ICAI and given to Hon’ble Finance Minister on 29th May 2018. A Sneak peek view into various Annexures forming part of the GST Audit report , two immediate thoughts came to my mind
Thought No. 1 : What are the Gaps existing in the Industry ?
Thought No. 2 : Will era of Assurance based Audit will be over with GST Audit ?
Actually both thoughts are interconnected with the fact that GST system is largely based on self assessment and data on common portal drive. That is why Government is driving initiative to de-humanize many process which simply require collecting and processing of data.
Though interpretation of law, inferences and developing jurisprudence will remain much in demand but those areas are not exclusive to Chartered Accountants.
What is important to understand here is that most of the Chartered Accountants in practice were not into VAT practice as a choice and service tax of late created practice avenues due to complexities involved in positive service regime and litigation on input credit issues.
Now GST has also begun with positive service regime, conditional input credits, Transitional complexities, Tracking of movement through Eway bill and Matching by machine concepts.
Industry should accept that Government with huge investment on GSTN and Financial Intelligence Platforms inter-connected is now well prepared with Data for future of Audit and Assessments. The time will come when machine will ask question and tech-enabled Chartered Accountants could only answer these pointed questions coming from the intelligent Data Analytics.
Matching concept is as old as Accounting and now with 4 Corners of Matching it has become lot more important to prepare Industry for rigmarole of first GST Audit based on Data and not on Assurance.
Future of GST lies on these Four Corners captured by Government already and it is up to Chartered Accountants and Industry to pick up speed with the help of Technology and smart tools.
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CA Sanjay Kumar Agrawal
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