Council Web Site Guidelines
at its 212th meeting held in January, 2001 approved the detailed
guidelines for posting the particulars on Website by Chartered Accountant(s) in
practice and firm(s) of Chartered Accountants in practice. Subsequently, the
Council at its 235th meeting held in July, 2003 amended sub-paras (8)
& (20) of the said guidelines. Thereafter, the Council at its 242nd
meeting held in April, 2004 again revised the said guidelines. The amended
guidelines issued by the Council are as under:
The Chartered Accountants and/or Chartered Accountants’ Firms would be free to
create their own Website subject to the overall guidelines laid down by the
Council hereunder. The actual format of the Website is not being prescribed nor
any standard format of the Website is being given to provide independence to the
Members. There is no restriction on the colours which may be used in the
Individual Members would also be permitted to have their Webpages in their trade
name or individual name.
The Chartered Accountants and/or Chartered Accountants’ Firms would ensure that
their Websites are run on a “pull” model and not a “push” model of the
technology to ensure that any person who wishes to locate the Chartered
Accountants or Chartered Accountants’ firms would only have access to the
information and the information should be provided only on the basis of specific
The Chartered Accountants and/or Chartered Accountants’ Firms should ensure that
none of the information contained in the Website be circulated on their own or
through E-mail or by any other mode or technique except on a specific “pull”
(5) The Chartered Accountants
would also not issue any circular or any other advertisement or any other
material of any kind whatsoever by virtue of which they solicit people to visit
their Website. The Chartered Accountants would, however, be permitted to mention
their Website address on their professional stationery.
(6) The following information
may be allowed to be displayed on the Firms/Members’ Websites:
(ii) Year of
Address (both Head Office and Branches)
(iv) Nature of
services rendered (to be displayable only on specific “pull” request)
Year of Quali-fication
Off.-Direct Res. Mobile
Area of Experience (to be displayable only on
specific “pull” request)
(vi) Details of
of experience (to be displayable only on specific “pull” request)
(vii) Job vacancies for
the Chartered Accountant/firm of Chartered Accountants (including articleship).
(viii) No. of articled
clerks. (to be displayable only on specific “pull” request).
(ix) Nature of
assignments handled (to be displayable only on specific “pull” request). Names
of clients and fee charged cannot be given.
(7) Since Chartered Accountants
in practice/firms of Chartered Accountants are not permitted to use logo with
effect from 1st July, 1998, they cannot use logo on Website also.
(8) Display of Passport size
photograph is permitted.
(9) The members may include
articles, professional information, professional updation and other matters of
larger importance or of professional interest.
(10) The bulletin boards can be
(11) The chat rooms can be
provided which permit chatting amongst members of the ICAI and between Firms and
its clients. The confidentiality protocol would have to be observed.
(12) The members/firms can
provide on line advice to their clients who specifically request for the advice
whether free of charge or on payment.
(13) The listing on suitable
search engine should be permitted. However, the field of search should be
restricted only to the field of “Chartered Accountants” or “CA” or “Indian CA”,
“Indian CPA”, “Indian Chartered Accountant” or any permutation or combination
related thereto. The Websites would be subjected to the guidelines contained
herein and normally would not be vetted by the Institute of Chartered
Accountants of India (ICAI). ICAI at its sole discretion may vet any of the
Websites created by its members or individual Chartered Accountant or firms of
Chartered Accountants and would have powers to direct deletion of certain
portions and/or issue specific directions. In addition, necessary action can be
taken in accordance with the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 and the Regulations
framed thereunder, in case there is any violation of the above guidelines.
(14) The details in the Website
should be so designed that it does not amount to soliciting client or
professional work. In case any content or technical feature of Website is
against the professional Code of Conduct and Ethics as well as the restrictions
contained in the schedules to the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 or against the
guidelines or directions issued by ICAI from time to time, appropriate action
will be initiated by the ICAI in terms of its disciplinary mechanism either suo-motto
or on complaint as provided under the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949.
(15) The Website should ensure
adequate secrecy of the matters of the clients handled through Website.
(16) A number of Chartered
Accountants Societies or other bodies are creating data-bases of Chartered
Accountants or Chartered Accountants’ Firms and are offering listing to
Chartered Accountants. Such listing would be permitted with or without payment.
In case a Chartered Accountant or Chartered Accountants’ Firm is a member of a
professional body or association or Chamber of Commerce and they offer listing
to the members or firm, the same would be permitted.
(17) The Institute of Chartered
Accountants of India will regularly inform the aforesaid guidelines to the
members and the Chartered Accountants’ Firms to ensure the strict compliance of
the guidelines. The guidelines may be revised from time to time.
(18) No Advertisement in the
nature of banner or any other nature will be permitted on the Website.
(19) The Website should be
befitting the profession of Chartered Accountants and should not contain any
information or material which is unbecoming of a Chartered Accountant.
(20) The Website may provide a
link to the Website of ICAI, its Regional Councils and Branches and also the
Website of Govt./Govt. Departments/Regulatory authorities/other Professional
Bodies, such as, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the
Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales (ICAEW) and The Canadian
Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA).
(21) The address of the Website
can be different from the name of the firm. But it should not amount to
soliciting clients or professional work or advertisement of professional
attainments or services. The Website address should be as near as possible to
the individual name/trade name, firm name of the Chartered Accountant in
practice or firm of Chartered Accountants in practice. The Ethical Standards
Board (ESB) of ICAI will decide in case there is any difficulty.
(22) The Website should mention
the date upto which it is updated and the information should not be at material
variance from the information as per the ICAI’s records.
address of the member be obtained on annual basis in the annual form required to
be filed by the member while paying fee and the same be taken as entry on record
& the website address of the member be provided to members as part of the
membership record. If the member chose not to give his website address, it did
not prevent the Institute to take suitable action against him in case his
non-compliance with the guidelines.
A number of
non-Chartered Accountants’ firms, corporates including banks, finance Companies
and newspapers have set up their own Websites providing advisory services on
taxation and other areas where Chartered Accountants are rendering professional
service. Some of such Websites may request Chartered Accountants or Chartered
Accountants’ firms to provide consultation and advice through their Websites.
This would be permitted subject to the condition that on the Website, contact
address of the Chartered Accountant concerned is not provided nor such Website
will contain any material which advertises professional achievements or status
of such Chartered Accountant except making a statement that they are Chartered
Accountants. The name of Chartered Accountants’ firm with suffix “Chartered
Accountants” would not be permitted.