What are the future prospects of social auditors in India? I have done electrical engineering and MBA (Power) and I am currently employed by a Big 4 consulting firm. - Akhil Katiyar

A fair amount of money is being spent by governments, corporates and NPOs on socially relevant initiatives. It is a matter of time, if not already begun, before there will be an increasing need for measuring the impact of these initiatives. SEBI Regulations, which recently approved the first Social Stock Exchange, has mandated the social audit for social enterprises that are to be listed on Social Stock Exchange (SSE). Currently, there are no listed entities in the SSE.

The concept of social audit is at its nascent stage as time evolves and more entities get listed in SSE the demand for social auditors will increase substantially. Corporates that are increasing their spending on CSR activities are also earmarking funds to conduct a social audit for evaluating the impact of the CSR expenditures. With growing awareness of the ESG, these are going enhance specialised audits. Even professional bodies like the ICAI and ICSI have framed and issued standards on social audit. Several prospects like these indicate that the scope for social auditors will further widen in the years to come.

(The expert is a chartered accountant.)