Govt seeks Byju’s reply on delayed filing of audited accounts: Report
India sought reasons from Byju’s, the country’s most-valuable startup backed by Tiger Global Management, for not yet filing its audited financial accounts for the year ended March 2021, according to people familiar with the matter.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs sent a letter to Byju’s parent company asking them to explain the seventeen-month delay in filing audited accounts, the people said, asking not to be named as the information is private.
The delay in filing is due to consolidating the accounts of a number of companies that the online education provider acquired during the accounting year, the company has replied to MCA, one of the people said. Byju’s, also backed by Mark Zuckerberg’s Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, had been on an accelerated expansion spree globally, buying multiple startups in the U.S. and elsewhere.
An unlisted company has to file its annual accounts within seven months of the financial year-end, beyond which they have to pay an additional fee for each day of delay, said Ved Jain, former president at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, and founder of Ved Jain And Associates. A delay of more than 17 months to make the filing is rare and prompted the letter from MCA.
“In case of excessive delays in filing annual accounts, the company and its directors are liable for fines as well as prosecution,” Jain said. “Normally, the prosecution is filed when the delay exceeds two years.”
Emails to spokespersons for the ministry of corporate affairs and Byju’s weren’t answered.
The Bengaluru-based edtech pioneer, formally known as Think & Learn Pvt., has a valuation of $22 billion, according to market researcher CB Insights. Chief Executive Officer Byju Raveendran, 41, a teacher himself and the son of school teachers, founded the education startup in 2015.