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CFOs to be blamed for most of frauds, says SEBI WTM Mohanty

May 27, 2023 

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Chief financial officers are responsible for most of the frauds that have been witnessed in India, a senior official from SEBI said on Friday, citing an analysis done by the capital markets regulator.

The role of the CFOs extends much beyond keeping accounts of the business, and SEBI looks at them as "critical gatekeepers for ensuring the integrity of the market", its Whole Time Member SK Mohanty said.

"In retrospect, on the basis of the analysis we have done, many of the frauds could have been prevented if CFO would have acted as the first level of check to these activities of the management," he said, addressing a CFO summit organised by industry lobby Ficci here.

"...most of the frauds have taken place because of financial statement manipulations, which is the domain of the CFOs," Mohanty added.

Either innocently or casually or lack of due diligence or irresponsible way of functioning, if not conniving, CFOs have faulted on their duties because of which these scams have come to the forefront, Mohanty said.

SEBI has also started a dedicated department to prevent frauds and has drawn on internal talent who have completed chartered accountancy, he said.

At present, SEBI is grappling with getting a grip over related party transactions and valuations, Mohanty noted.

Disclosures are very important, but SEBI has observed inconsistencies in divulging material events over the last few years, Mohanty said, adding that this led to the release of guidelines on the same.

[The Hindu Business Line]

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