This article, “BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre: Roles, Benefits, and Postings,” featured in the Prothom Alo newspaper on October 13, 2023, unveils the extensive purview of the BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre. These officers are entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing public expenditure activities, conducting audits, and ensuring accountability. Their postings, promotions, and transfers are managed by the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Auditor General and Comptroller.
Appointments, Responsibilities, and Functions
The Audit and Accounts Cadre encompasses two divisions: the Directorate of Audit and the Department of Accounts. The Department of Accounts comprises three distinct wings: Civil, Defense, and Railways, where cadre officers are deployed.
Audit cadre officers work diligently in various government financial activities, both within the country and internationally. They play a crucial role in scrutinizing government budget expenditures, commonly referred to as pre-audits. After ascertaining the authenticity and correctness of expenditures, the process shifts to post or statutory audits. This post-audit phase entails two vital components: compliance audits, which assess whether expenditures adhere to established rules and procedures, and performance audits, which evaluate the contributions of specific institutions such as the Forest Department and WASA.
Internationally, government audit institutions are often designated as Supreme Audit Institutions, following the guidelines set out in the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISAI). The Auditor General and Controller of Accounts (CAG), while serving as the constitutional head of the Audit and Accounts Department, primarily focuses on formalities. To assist in these responsibilities, there is a Deputy CAG Senior. Additionally, there are separate Heads of Accounts (Civil, Defense, and Railways) and Audit, each overseeing human resource management within the organization.
Directorate of Audit
Currently, there are 17 Audit Directorates throughout the country, each headed by a Director General. These directorates encompass directors, deputy directors, and assistant directors. Beyond cadre service, these departments also employ accounts officers, superintendents, auditors, and junior auditors.
Audit and Accounts Cadre Officers stationed in the Civil Accounts Department may be posted in Dhaka and divisional cities. Ranks are determined based on their positions. The Controller General of Accounts (CGA) office in Dhaka’s Accounts Building plays a pivotal role, with Additional CGA, Deputy CGA, and Assistant CGA executing their respective duties. In Dhaka, there are also 52 separate Chief Accounts and Finance (CAFO) Offices, where the CAFO is the head of the office, and Deputy CAFO and Assistant CAFO assist in their roles. At the divisional level (eight in eight divisions), the Divisional Controller of Accounts (DCA) serves as the Head of Office, with Deputy DCA and Assistant DCA supporting them. It’s important to note that Audit cadre officers are not typically stationed at district and upazila levels; instead, non-cadre officers hold positions such as District Accounts and Finance Officer (DAFO), Upazila Accounts and Finance Officer (UAFO), Superintendent, Auditor, and Junior Auditor at the district and upazila levels.
At the Dhaka Head Office, the Controller General of Defense Finance (CGDF) department is headed by a Senior Finance Controller (SFC). This office also operates three agency offices for the Army, Navy, and Air. Deputy SFCs and Assistant SFCs play crucial roles under the SFCs. In addition, there are separate offices of the Area Finance Controller for the Army, Navy, and Air in different divisions, operating under the SFC office in Dhaka.
The Dhaka Railway Station is the headquarters of the Additional Director General (ADG) Finance department. This department is led by the ADG, with Deputy Directors (DD) and Assistant Directors (AD) fulfilling their designated responsibilities. The Eastern and Western Railway Zones under Railways each have a separate Financial Adviser and Chief Accounts Officer (FACAO) serving as the Head of Office. Deputy Financial Adviser (DFA) and Assistant Financial Adviser (AFA) work under their guidance.
Upon joining the Audit and Accounts Cadre, officers complete a six-month Foundation Training Course (FTC) at the Bangladesh Public Administration Training Center (BPATC), alongside other cadres. Following this, they undergo a one-year departmental training at the Financial Management Academy (FIMA) in Mirpur, Dhaka, to acquire essential professional skills. Furthermore, they must engage in various types of training, both domestically and abroad. Government scholarships offer opportunities for pursuing master’s and PhD programs in different countries, similar to other cadres.
Salary and Allowances of BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre
A noteworthy feature of this cadre is that all government employees draw their salary from Voted Expenditure, which necessitates parliamentary approval. However, for those posted in Audit Directorates, salaries are sourced from Charged Expenditure, a constitutional body. According to the Government Pay Scale-2015, officers across all cadres commence service with a basic salary of Tk 22,000. With an additional increment upon joining, the basic salary increases to Tk 23,100. Additional benefits include house rent at a fixed rate of the basic salary, medical allowance of Tk 1,500, educational allowances for children, festival allowances during Eid or Puja, New Year allowances during Baisakh, and government-related duties and travel allowances. These officers enjoy all government financial benefits, including TA/DA allowances.
Opportunities of BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre
The Audit and Accounts Cadre offers substantial deputation opportunities, with officers frequently being lent to various government departments, projects (such as Metrorail and Padma Setu), and City Corporations. Additionally, financial rewards are attainable through mission audits conducted in different countries, spanning 40 days. These experiences combine government service with international travel and the potential for financial stability. The cadre also boasts favorable promotional opportunities, with shared transport available for those working at the 9th and 6th-grade levels and office transport facilities from the 5th grade onwards.
In addition to the same quarter facilities as general government officials, the Defense and Railways divisions offer the use of their own quarters. Notably, Audit and Accounts Cadre officers are generally not stationed at the district and upazila levels, as their typical postings are in civil, defense, and railways offices. The cadre is a preferred choice among job aspirants participating in the BCS examinations due to the opportunity to render vital services in a transparent work environment, ensuring accountability in state accounts.
Hierarchy of BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre
Newly appointed cadre officers in the Audit and Accounts Cadre commence their careers in the Finance Department of the Ministry of Finance as Assistant Accountants General. Following departmental training, they are assigned positions according to the office’s organizational structure where they are posted. For example:
- If an officer is posted in FIMA/Audit Directorate after completing departmental and basic training, they hold the title of AD (Assistant Director).
- In the OCAG (Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General) office, their title is Assistant Director.
- In CAFO (Chief Accounts & Finance Office), they become ACAFO (Assistant Chief Accounts & Finance Officer).
- In the FA&CAO (East)/FA&CAO (West)/FA&CAO (Project) office of Railways, their designation is AFA&CAO (Assistant Financial Adviser & Chief Accounts Officer).
- In the ADG (Finance) office, they are known as AD (Assistant Director).
- In the office of CGDF (Controller General Defense Finance), they hold the title of ACGDF (Assistant Controller General Defense Finance).
- In any SFC (Senior Finance Controller)/Area FC (Finance Controller) office under CGDF, they are designated as AFC (Assistant Finance Controller).
- In OCGA (Office of the Controller General of Accounts) office, they are called ACGA (Assistant Controller General of Accounts).
- In DCA (Divisional Controller of Accounts) office under CGA, they hold the title of ADCA (Assistant Divisional Controller of Accounts).
This represents the initial ranking of Audit & Accounts Cadre officers, with subsequent promotions occurring according to the organizational structure of their posted office.
Where Do BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre Officers Work?
Officers of the Audit and Accounts Service find employment in various directorates under the Office of the Auditor General and Comptroller. These include:
- Commercial Audit Directorate: Focused on budget formulation and implementation audits of government institutions, government-controlled commercial institutions, state-owned commercial banks, semi-government institutions, and public holding institutions.
- Local and Revenue Audit Directorate: Responsible for auditing budget formulation and implementation for entities such as the National Board of Revenue, City Corporations, universities, municipalities, and all local and civil government institutions.
- Civil Audit Directorate: Manages accounts offices of upazilas, districts, chief accounts officers or chief accounts officers’ offices, controller of accounts offices, and departmental offices. This directorate oversees budget formulation, implementation, and the identification of irregular expenditures from upazila to departmental levels.
- Works Audit Directorate: Audits the works conducted by public entities like Public Works, Roads and Highways, Water Development Board, Power Development Board, WASA, Desa, Civil Aviation, and Local Government Engineering.
- Foreign Aided Projects Audit Directorate: Conducts audits of foreign-aided development projects in the public sector.
- Directorate of Railway Audit: Oversees the audit of Bangladesh Railways.
- Post, Telecommunication, Science and Technology Audit Directorate: Audits the budget and income-expenditure of organizations such as Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Limited, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, and the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication.
- Defense Audit Directorate: Conducts budget implementation audits for all Bangladesh Defense Forces, Bangladesh Meteorological Department, Bangladesh Geological Department, and more.
- Mission Audit Directorate: Focuses on budget implementation audits for all Bangladesh Government institutions located abroad.
- Performance Audit Directorate: Evaluates the work conducted by specific organizations and compares its quality with the budget. Additionally, Assistant Chief Accounts Officers may be appointed at the Upazila and District level Accounts Offices, and the Office of the Chief Accounts Officer. At the Upazila level, the same position is known as Upazila Accounting Officer.
What Are the Duties of an Officer Appointed in BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre?
Officers in the BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre perform a wide range of tasks, including:
- Recording monthly accounts in office records or data storage systems.
- Rectifying issues in account maintenance reported by senior officers.
- Ensuring the accuracy of income-expenditure accounts for government institutions.
- Timely disbursement of pensions and other accounts, ensuring their readiness for audits.
- Managing monthly salary payments and other employee benefits.
- Supervising fieldwork and data collection within the organization.
- Recommending annual salary increments for subordinates.
- Assisting the Auditor General, Comptroller, and their respective officers in collecting, controlling, and auditing accounts for institutions under their purview.
- Maintaining the overall income-expenditure account for their organization.
- Executing audit or audit work within their organization, following established rules and procedures.
Recruitment Process for BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre
To join the Audit and Accounts Service, candidates must:
- Pass the BCS Preliminary Examination (200 marks examination).
- Attend the BCS written test (900 marks examination).
- Perform well in the Direct Oral Examination (200 marks examination).
The final outcome, whether a candidate secures a cadre position or is considered for a non-cadre role, depends on the choice of cadre during the recruitment process.
Qualifications of an Officer Appointed in BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre
Minimum qualifications for recruitment in this cadre are determined by the Bangladesh Public Service Commission, aligning with the standards applied to all cadres.
Skills and Knowledge Required
Officers in the BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre should possess:
- Strong mathematical and statistical skills for auditing.
- Analytical capabilities.
- Proficiency in accounting and data analysis software, including Microsoft Excel.
- Ability to handle stress and attention to detail.
- Patience and a tactful attitude.
Under the 9th pay scale, an Assistant General Accounts Officer earns Tk 22,000 per month. Additionally, officers may receive additional monthly honorarium depending on their assigned duties.
A career in the BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre begins with the position of Assistant General Accounts Officer. Common career stages include:
- Assistant Chief Accounts Officer/Upazila Accounts Officer/Audit & Accounts Officer/Programmer.
- Deputy Chief Accounts Officer/District Accounts Officer/Divisional Accounts Officer/Deputy Controller General of Accounts/System Analyst.
- Chief Accounts Officer/Divisional Accounts Officer/Additional Controller General of Accounts/Senior System Analyst.
- Comptroller General of Accounts.
These stages reflect the typical progression for officers in this cadre.
Frequently Asked Questions Of BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre
1. What is the role of BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre Officers?
- BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre Officers are responsible for managing public expenditure activities and conducting audits to ensure accountability in government finances. They work in various departments and directorates, overseeing budget formulation, implementation, and auditing processes.
2. How is the posting and promotion of BCS (Audit and Accounts) cadre officers managed?
- The posting, promotion, and transfer of BCS (Audit and Accounts) cadre officers are overseen by the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Auditor General and Comptroller.
3. What are the divisions of the Audit and Accounts Cadre?
- The Audit and Accounts Cadre comprises two divisions: the Directorate of Audit and the Department of Accounts. The Department of Accounts includes three distinct wings: Civil, Defense, and Railways.
4. Where are Audit cadre officers typically posted?
- Audit cadre officers can be posted in various government offices, including Civil, Defense, and Railways departments. They work in different capacities, ensuring the transparency of financial operations.
5. What are the different types of audits conducted by Audit cadre officers?
- Audit cadre officers conduct various types of audits, including pre-audits, post or statutory audits, compliance audits, and performance audits to examine government expenditure, adherence to rules and procedures, and contributions of specific institutions.
6. What are the international standards followed by government audit institutions?
- Government audit institutions follow International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISAI), a set of international standards governing audit practices worldwide.
7. Who is the constitutional head of the Audit and Accounts Department?
- The constitutional head of the Audit and Accounts Department is the Auditor General and Controller of Accounts (CAG), who primarily oversees formalities and is assisted by a Deputy CAG Senior.
8. What is the career progression in the BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre?
- The career progression in the BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre typically starts with the position of Assistant Accountants General and can lead to roles like Deputy Chief Accounts Officer, Chief Accounts Officer, and Comptroller General of Accounts.
9. What are the opportunities for deputation and mission audits in this cadre?
- BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre officers have opportunities for deputation in various government departments and projects. They can also participate in mission audits in different countries, offering a blend of government service and international travel.
10. What qualifications are required to join the BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre?
- To join the BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre Service, candidates must pass the BCS Preliminary Examination, participate in the BCS written test, and excel in the Direct Oral Examination. The final outcome depends on the cadre choice during recruitment.
11. What skills and knowledge should an officer in this cadre possess?
- Officers in the BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre should have mathematical and statistical skills, analytical capabilities, proficiency in accounting and data analysis software, ability to handle stress, attention to detail, and a tactful attitude.
12. What is the monthly income for an officer in the BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre?
- Under the 9th pay scale, an Assistant General Accounts Officer earns Tk 22,000 per month, with the possibility of additional monthly honorarium based on assigned duties.
13. Where do Audit and Accounts Cadre officers work?
- BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre officers work in various directorates under the Office of the Auditor General and Comptroller, including Commercial Audit Directorate, Local and Revenue Audit Directorate, Civil Audit Directorate, Works Audit Directorate, and more.
14. What are the key duties of an officer in the BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre?
- The duties of an officer in this cadre include maintaining accounts, rectifying account issues, ensuring the accuracy of income-expenditure accounts, overseeing pension payments, disbursing monthly salaries and employee benefits, and assisting in audits and related tasks.
15. What are the different divisions within the BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre?
- The BCS Audit and Accounts Cadre includes divisions such as Commercial Audit Directorate, Local and Revenue Audit Directorate, Civil Audit Directorate, Works Audit Directorate, Foreign Aided Projects Audit Directorate, and more.