Myanmar Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Associate | Established: 2015 | Associate since 2020
In 2003, MICPA was established following the issuance of an Association Permit from the Associations Formation and Control Central Committee (under the Ministry of Home Affairs of Myanmar). In 2013, MICPA was then re-constituted as a not-profit corporate entity under the authority of the Directorate of Investment and Companies Administration. Following the enactment of the MAC Law in 2015, MICPA was recognized as an independent national accountancy body. And in 2017, in addition to the provisions under the MAC Law, MICPA was re-registered as a company limited by guarantee.
MICPA was established to protect the rights of professional accountants in compliance with relevant laws and regulations, to promote the accounting profession by acting as a platform for training and development, and to serve as the voice for the accountancy profession in Myanmar. Membership with MICPA is mandatory for all CPAs. MICPA is an IFAC Associate member and a Primary Member of the ASEAN Federation of Accountants.
Statements of Membership Obligation (SMO)
The Statements of Membership Obligations form the basis of the IFAC Member Compliance Program. They serve as a framework for credible and high-quality professional accountancy organizations focused on serving the public interest by adopting, or otherwise incorporating, and supporting implementation of international standards and maintaining adequate enforcement mechanisms to ensure the professional behavior of their individual members.
SMO 1: Quality Assurance
Under the MAC Law, the Myanmar Accountancy Council (MAC) is responsible for establishing a quality assurance (QA) review system in Myanmar. Per Notification No. 9/2018, an Audit Monitoring Committee (AMC), operating under the oversight of the MAC, was established to monitor the work of auditors; however, as of December 2020, a QA system in Myanmar has not been established due to resource constraints.
MICPA has acknowledged that there is a need to establish a QA review system in Myanmar. Although there is no current system in place, it has focused its efforts to coordinate collaboration between the MAC and regional and global partners to learn more about how to implement a QA review system. An example, as referenced above, is the joint ADB and ICAEW project, which MICPA reports it currently on hold due to difficulty in recruiting qualified staff. Alternatively, MICPA has engaged in discussions with AFA and the World Bank on a project that will support either the development of a QA review program or improve an existing program in Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar. This project would be funded by the World Bank but be administered by the Institute of Indonesian Chartered Accountants.
MICPA is involved in the functions of the AMC where the institute is represented by MICPA Board members. MICPA indicates that it is reviewing SMO 1 requirements to support the MAC in eventually establishing a QA system by FY 2022–2023. MICPA collaborates with the MAC to conduct seminars and workshops on ISQC 1, ISA 220 and relevant audit guidance to ensure that audit practitioners are well aware of what is expected of them during their work. An example of such initiatives includes four workshops on quality control and a workshop on audit procedures and practices that covered audit reports, disclosures, and the role of management in the process.
MICPA is to keep IFAC updated of developments with the various stakeholders in developing a QA system in Myanmar.
SMO 2: International Education Standards
The Myanmar Accountancy Council Law stipulates initial professional development (IPD) and continuing professional development (CPD) requirements in Myanmar and provides both the Myanmar Accountancy Council (MAC) and Myanmar Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA), with the mandate to implement these requirements.
MICPA’s responsibility, as established in the MAC Law, is solely focused on administering CPD training and programs. MICPA, however, does sit on education related committees (Curriculum Committee, Examination Committee) of the MAC and MICPA indicates that in the short-term, the focus for the PAO will be to enhance CPD offerings and training programs. MICPA has had an impact on moving IPD and CPD requirements closer to the IES due to its influence on the MAC, and though the IES are not formally adopted, it has stated an intent to continue using its influence to promote the formal adoption of the IES.
MICPA reports that an assessment against the IES was taken in 2017, which led to its conclusion that some of the IPD and CPD requirements do partially align with the IES. However, the institute recognizes that a more formal and thorough gap analysis needs to be undertaken and MICPA is seeking assistance from various stakeholders to undertake this analysis. MICPA reports that it is currently undertaking its own best endeavors to ensure that the existing CPA syllabus in Myanmar is aligned with the IES requirements.
MICPA actively engages with foreign accountancy organizations such as ACCA, CIMA, ICAEW, and ISCA to collaborate on CPD and is also taking an active role in working with local universities in Myanmar to harmonize university courses with the CPA qualification and also promote the CPA qualification and designation. An example of collaboration with ISCA are two programs funded by Singapore’s Temasek foundation: (i) a leadership training program for 25 public sector officials; and (ii) IFRS training program for MICPA members. With updated auditing and accounting standards that will become effective FY 2022–2023, MICPA is planning to enhance its CPD and training offerings on the relevant standards to ensure that members in Myanmar are prepared for their eventual rollout.
MICPA has also collaborated with the Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Daiwa Foundation (the second largest securities company in Japan) to provide technical support for the Capital Market Training Program in Myanmar. Under this program, a total of 80 accountancy professionals have been trained to understand the function and development of the principles of capital markets. As the Yangon Stock Exchange is only four years old with six total listed companies, participants and MICPA have found the training program useful to implement best practices in the future.
MICPA is to keep IFAC updated of its endeavors to conduct a gap analysis of alignment with the IES. IFAC will discuss further with MICPA on this initiative to explore collaboration with other professional bodies in the region. MICPA is encouraged to continue its efforts to influence the MAC to adopt the IES.
SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
Under Article 17(d) of the MAC Law, the Myanmar Accountancy Council (MAC) is responsible for setting auditing standards in Myanmar. The standards to be applied in Myanmar are the Myanmar Standards on Auditing (MSA) which are converged with the 2009 ISA. The MSA are not translated into the local language.
Although MICPA has no formal role in adoption, it is actively supporting the MAC with implementation of ISA by offering CPD training, seminars, and workshops. Over the years, MICPA has offered training on topics such as ISQC 1, audit quality, and has collaborated with ISCA to offer training on an ISCA’s Audit Manual publication. The collaboration with ISCA was structured to train CPAs including MICPA Board members who are also well-known trainers in Myanmar. Those trainers would then serve as trainers to the local membership population thus being able to extend its reach. Other collaboration on CPD related trainings have been conducted with ACCA, CIMA, ICAEW, and the Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
MICPA indicates that in early 2020, it had already been offering training on audit related subjects. Its training plans for 2020 remain the same, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and there are plans to offer a full suite of training on the ISA to prepare members and practitioners for changes that will be implemented in FY 2022–2023. These trainings will continue in subsequent years. In the interim, while most work is conducted virtually, MICPA launched a seminar via zoom on financial reporting considerations for both accountants and auditors which attracted 500 participants.
MICPA participates in the national standard-setting process in collaboration with the MAC. MICPA indicates that avenues of funding are currently being explored to eventually translate the effective auditing standards into the local language.
MICPA is to keep IFAC updated of all developments and trainings in relation to the ISA and steps being taken ahead of changes in FY 2022-2023.
SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
Under the MAC Law, the Myanmar Accountancy Council (MAC) is responsible for establishing ethical requirements for CPAs in Myanmar. The Myanmar Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA) reports that in September 2019, the MAC adopted and published the 2018 International Code of Ethics.
Although MICPA has no formal role in adoption, it supports the MAC with the adoption and implementation of ethical requirements by offering CPD training and programs. MICPA offers CPD seminars on ethics and communicates requirements of the Code to members through its website and social media. In October 2018, MICPA conducted a seminar in collaboration with KPMG on the 2018 Code and has also published a number of articles related to the new Code in its quarterly magazine. In 2019, in addition to various training initiatives, MICPA promoted the AFA and IESBA webinar on the new Code to its members and in 2020, MICPA has continued to organize seminars and free webinars on the Code.
To ensure members are kept aware of developments with the Code, during the annual license renewal process, members are required to verify understanding of the Code and sign letters adhering to the Code. Adherence to the Code has been included in MICPA’s new constitution. To further support members, MICPA indicates that there are plans to eventually translate the Code subject to funding availability.
MICPA is to keep IFAC updated on its activities around implementation especially with the new Code adopted. MICPA is encouraged to continue considering translating the Code for its members. MICPA has indicated plans in 2020 to develop a comprehensive plan to train members on the application of the Code, MICPA is encouraged to provide further details, especially if there are plans to collaborate with other regional or foreign PAOs on CPD training and if there are plans to increase the number of trainings on ethics.
SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
Under the Auditor General of the Union Law of 2010, the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) is responsible for setting public sector accounting standards in Myanmar.
MICPA has been actively lobbying the OAG to adopt IPSAS. In addition to raising awareness about IPSAS to the OAG and the government, MICPA has also done the same to its members and professionals working in the public sector.
MICPA also has acted as a liaison between external stakeholders from the international donor community and the OAG to facilitate learning and to seek possible funding to support adoption of IPSAS. One such activity includes a public-sector accounting reform conference on August 12, 2019, supported by the World Bank, and co-chaired by the Ministry of Planning and Finance and the OAG to discuss transition to IPSAS for government entities.
MICPA has also helped to secure funding from the EU Trust Fund to support a project that lays the foundation in Myanmar to eventually transition to IPSAS. The project consists of three components: (a) preparation of an IPSAS Gap Analysis and Transition Plan; (b) securing the support and providing for the education of key stakeholders; and (c) developing a roadmap for the government. MICPA indicates that it is exploring serving as advisory members in this project.
SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
Under the MAC Law, the Myanmar Accountancy Council (MAC) is responsible for establishing an investigation and discipline (I&D) system in Myanmar. Section 72–79 of the MAC Law establishes an Investigation Board and a Discipline Supervisory Committee where the Myanmar Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA) also contributes as members of both entities. Section 68 and 69 of the MAC Law outlines breaches of rules and regulations issued by the MAC that would warrant and investigation and disciplinary action being taken by the MAC. Based on an assessment of the existing I&D system conducted by MICPA, the current system Myanmar partially complies with SMO 6 requirements.
Within the existing I&D system, MICPA contributes as members on the Investigation Board and the Discipline Supervisory Committee. The institute actively raises awareness of the system by publishing details on the MICPA website, social media and discussing the system at CPD training and seminars. MICPA reports that there are plans by the end of 2020 for its committees, with support from the MAC, to review the existing I&D system and produce a formal gap analysis and solutions to align with the requirements of SMO 6.
MICPA reports that in its constitution which was approved December 2019, I&D responsibilities will be divided between the MAC and MICPA. The MAC will be responsible for the disciplinary process on all CPAs as defined in the MAC Law and MICPA will be responsible for I&D process a new membership category which will comprise of non-CPAs. As of June 2020, there are no Affiliate members and an I&D system developed by MICPA has not been established. As indicated above, the priority will be to focus on aligning the existing system with SMO 6 requirements.
MICPA is to keep IFAC updated of all developments with its plan to formally review the I&D system and to share the gaps and solutions when readily available. IFAC will use its convening resources to support MICPA with this initiative if collaboration with other professional bodies is required.
SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
Under Article 17(d) of the MAC Law, the Myanmar Accountancy Council (MAC) is responsible for setting accounting standards to be applied in Myanmar. The standards to be applied in Myanmar are the Myanmar Financial Reporting Standards (MFRS) that are converged with the 2010 version of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
Although MICPA has no responsibility with the adoption of accounting standards, it supports the MAC with the adoption and implementation of the standards in Myanmar. MICPA’s activities revolves around CPD training and liaising with international stakeholders on projects and other initiatives. MICPA serves as the main point of contact between the MAC and the IFRS Foundation including working on licensing agreements, and MICPA liaises with the ADB to secure funding to translate IFRS into the local language. As of June 2020, the translation of IFRS for SMEs is ongoing. In addition, under the ADB project, translating the full IFRS in the local language will commence once there is a resolution to the COVID-19 pandemic.
CPD and training offered my MICPA is conducted in collaboration with local practitioners and representatives of international accountancy organizations such as ISCA, ICAEW, ACCA, amongst others. MICPA is also liaising with national bodies such as the Central Bank of Myanmar, Union of Myanmar Federation and Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Internal Revenue Department to raise awareness on the standards and develop a training program. MICPA participates in the national standard-setting process with the MAC.
IFAC bears no responsibility for the information provided in the SMO Action Plans prepared by IFAC member organizations. Please see our full Disclaimer for additional information.