Mrs. Aruna Sethi (ICoAS 1985), Principal Adviser (Cost), took over the charge of Indian Cost Accounts Service (ICoAS) as head on 1st February, 2016. She is the first lady ICoAS officer who has achieved this laurel. She has earlier held important portfolios in Government of India including Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Defence etc.
ICoAS is one of the six Organized Accounting Services of the Government of India. ICoAS is comparatively young Accounting Service constituted in 1978. The sanction strength of ICoAS is 178 officers whereas present filled in strength is 116 officers. Office of Chief Adviser Cost is one of the divisions functioning in the Department of Expenditure. It is a professional body staffed by qualified Cost/ Chartered Accountants. This Office is responsible for advising the Ministries and Government Undertakings on cost accounts matters and to undertake cost investigation work on their behalf.
The ICoAS Officers have the requisite skill by virtue of their professional background and experience gained in managing the multifarious and complex issues relating to financial and cost management matters like management of fiscal resources, budget and budgetary control, project appraisals, monitoring outcomes through various cost drivers, cost investigation, cost benefit analysis, financial analysis, internal cost audit, subsidy management, tariff fixation and WTO matters like anti-dumping safeguard, etc. thus aiming at ‘value for money’. Since cost/ pricing work in the Ministries/ Departments increased significantly, various other Ministries/ Departments also have established their in house expertise with Indian Cost Accounts Service (ICoAS) Officers on participative office pattern.