Vietnam Association of Accountants and Auditors
Member | Established: 1994 | Member since 1998
VAA was established in 1994 as the first professional accountancy organization (PAO) in Vietnam under Decision 12-TTg by the Prime Minister of Vietnam and formally named as the Vietnam Association of Accountants and Auditors under Decision 35/2004/BNV as authorized by the Minister of Home Affairs. VAA’s objectives are to unite organizations and individuals involved in the accountancy practice to develop the profession; upgrade professional skills; uphold ethics for Vietnam’s management of economic and financial issues, and integration into the community of accountancy bodies around the world. Membership with VAA is voluntary. In addition to being a member of IFAC, VAA is a member of the ASEAN Federation of Accountants (AFA).
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
In Vietnam, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) is responsible for administering quality assurance (QA) reviews. Prior to 2014, when the Vietnam Association of Certified Public Accountants was operating under the umbrella of VAA, the association was active in participating with the MOF when undertaking QA reviews. Activities included participating in reviews and providing input on policies related to QA. As of 2018, VAA is no longer involved in the activities of the MOF as related to QA unless requested to do so by the MOF.
Although VAA does not have a role with QA reviews, the association is active in other areas that supports the quality and conduct of its members; for example, providing guidance and training to members on MOF regulations around QA reviews.
In the next update of its SMO Action Plan, VAA is encouraged to consider addressing the following recommendations: (a) As the MOF is responsible for QA reviews, VAA is encouraged to consider ways to promote SMO 1 requirements to the MOF so that the existing system in Vietnam is aligned with international requirements; and (2) As there are members who are auditors, VAA is encouraged to consider how it can keep them up to date with current quality control standards through CPD offerings. Alongside this suggestion, VAA is encouraged to consider how it can reflect on the results and findings from the MOF QA reviews to tailor and develop specific CPD seminars and courses.
SMO 2: International Education Standards
In Vietnam, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) is responsible for implementing initial professional development (IPD) and continuing professional development (CPD) requirements for all professional accountants. VAA has been accredited by the MOF to provide training courses for individuals who choose to become chief accountants, internal auditors, and management consultants. VAA monitors the fulfillment of CPD hours by its members and submits non-compliance to the MOF for further action and sanctions.
To support its members’ fulfillment of their CPD obligations, VAA has signed numerous memorandum of understanding (MoUs) with international professional accountancy organizations (PAOs) such as the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA), CPA Australia, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), and Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) to develop and co-host CPD sessions and seminars. In addition, VAA reports that with the assistance of both ACCA and ICAEW, it is developing an accounting qualification called the Vietnamese Chartered Professional Accountant (VICPA).
Going forward, VAA reports that it will continue offering training programs and CPD and will seek to develop relationships with an increased number of foreign PAOs.
In the next update of its SMO Action Plan, VAA is encouraged to consider addressing the following recommendations: (1) Although VAA does not have direct authority in adopting education standards in Vietnam, it is encouraged to consider developing a plan to advocate and collaborate with VACPA and the MOF to support the formal recognition and incorporation of the IES requirements in the jurisdiction, especially the 2015 revised IES; (2) to support the aforementioned recommendation, VAA is encouraged to consider how it can adapt its current CPD programming to align with the learning- outcomes approach as recommended in the revised IES; and (3) VAA is encouraged to provide further information on the progress and scope in its collaboration with ACCA and ICAEW to develop the VICPA qualification, and report if this qualification incorporates the revised IES in its development.
SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
Under Article 6 of the Law on Independent Audit, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) is responsible for setting auditing standards in Vietnam which are the Vietnam Standards on Auditing (VSA). As of June 2018, there are 47 VSA in Vietnam, which the Vietnam Association of Certified Public Accountants (VACPA) reports have been developed in line with the 2009 ISA but with modifications.
Although VAA is not responsible for the adoption of auditing standards, it supports the MOF in the standard-setting process by participating as a member of the national accounting standard-setting board, and conducting research to support the development of the standards. VAA reports that as a part of its activities, it provides comments to exposure drafts related to auditing standards to the MOF.
To assist its members who are involved with audit work, VAA disseminates and promotes the standards via articles on its website and in its magazine and also through training courses.
In the next update of its SMO Action Plan, VAA is encouraged to consider addressing the following recommendations: (1) VAA is encouraged to consider how it may be able to advocate to the MOF and VACPA for the VSA to be aligned with the latest version of ISA, which includes the new auditor’s report; and (2) VAA is encouraged to provide further information on the types of training and CPD it provides for its members on auditing standards.
SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
Under the Law on Accounting 2015, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) is responsible for establishing ethical requirements for all professional accountants in Vietnam. Professional accountancy organizations (PAOs) in Vietnam are not required and have not established their own separate ethical codes. Both VAA and the Vietnam Association of Certified Public Accountants report that the 2014 IESBA Code of Ethics is currently adopted in Vietnam.
VAA has undertaken a number of initiatives to support the implementation of ethical requirements for its members. VAA has established a Member Advisory and Support Committee and its activities are focused on supporting and monitoring ethical conduct of its members. VAA also offers continuing professional development (CPD) such as seminars and courses on the IESBA Code. Moving forward, VAA reports that it will continue to develop further guidance and training on ethical requirements for its members.
In the next update of its SMO Action Plan, VAA is encouraged to consider addressing the following recommendations: (1) VAA is encouraged to advocate for the adoption of the latest IESBA Code of Ethics to the MOF, which includes the NOCLAR standard; and (2) VAA is encouraged to provide examples of the types of activities it plans to undertake to support its members with the implementation of ethical requirements. This could include providing examples of CPD or other types of training.
SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
In Vietnam, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) is responsible for setting public sector accounting standards.
Under MOF decision No.19/2006/QD-BTC, public sector entities follow a specialized Accounting Regime designed for the public sector. The Law on Accounting, revised in 2015, also provides regulations on government financial reporting. The MOF has indicated that as part of the National Accounting General Project, in 2020, a government financial reporting template will be completed by the Vietnam State Treasury (VST). It is envisioned that the VST, as a part of this project template will develop a Treasury and Budget Management Information System (TABMIS) to serve the needs of accounting in the public sector.
Although VAA is not responsible for the adoption of public sector standards in Vietnam, it reports that it participates in activities such as the national standard-setting committee, and other various projects and workshops hosted by the MOF. In relation to the National Accounting General Project and TABMIS, VAA reports that it has provided support towards the development of the operations of the project.
VAA reports that while the IPSAS are not adopted in Vietnam, the IPSAS have been circulated and promoted in both English and Vietnamese, and that some local universities have included IPSAS in their syllabi. VAA also hosts a number of training workshops and courses to build awareness of IPSAS.
VAA is encouraged to continue to advocate and promote the adoption of IPSAS in Vietnam. In the next update of its SMO Action Plan, VAA is encouraged to consider how it supports members of VAA who work in the public sector, and provide examples of how it supports them to understand and apply public sector standards and regulations appropriately.
SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
Under Decree No. 105 of 2013, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) is responsible for establishing an investigation and disciplinary (I&D) mechanism in Vietnam for all professional accountants.
VAA does not have a role with the MOF’s I&D system; however, its membership regulations do stipulate certain criteria and conditions for engaging in practice—for example, adhering to continuing professional development (CPD) requirements and ethical requirements of the MOF—and violations of these conditions are subject to disciplinary measures. To this end, the VAA has established an internal monitoring system to ensure its members adhere to the requirements as set by the MOF and in addition, improve members’ abilities to meet international standards of audit and reporting. VAA reports that members who do not conform to these requirements are referred to the MOF for follow-up action and sanctions. Sanctions can include the removal of licenses to practice.
VAA conducted a self-assessment of its system against the requirements of SMO 6 and gaps have been identified. The gaps include: (a) A disciplinary committee is only formed when further action is required; (b) only professional accountants make up the committee; (c) the system does not have a means for appeals; (d) there is no process for the independent review of complaints; and (e) there is no liaising with outside bodies on possible involvement of serious crimes and offences, other than the MOF.
In the next update of its SMO Action Plan, VAA is encouraged to consider addressing the following recommendations: (1) As VAA has reported that its internal program only partially complies with the requirements of SMO 6, VAA is encouraged to report on and develop action steps to address gaps identified; (2) VAA is encouraged to promote SMO 6 requirements to the MOF so that its existing I&D system in Vietnam is aligned with best practices; and (3) Similar to SMO 1, VAA is encouraged to consider how it can reflect on findings from the MOF I&D mechanism to develop and tailor specific training for members. Alongside this recommendation, VAA is encouraged to ensure that it has an open line of communication with the MOF on these matters.
SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
Under Government Decree No. 215/2013/ND-CP, the Accounting and Auditing Policy Department (AAPD), operating within the Ministry of Finance (MOF), is responsible for setting accounting standards for all entities in Vietnam. The AAPD established the Vietnamese Accounting Standards Board (VASB), which has been given responsibility to develop Vietnamese Accounting Standards (VAS).
Although VAA does not have responsibility for the adoption of the standards, it indicates it has taken an active approach in promoting the awareness of IFRS to its members and the other stakeholders in the jurisdiction. For example, it participates in the standard-setting process by assisting the MOF and VASB with the drafting of standards and sharing experiences on the application of IFRS in other jurisdictions.
Most recently, at a workshop titled “Experience in Applying IFRS and a Roadmap for adoption in Vietnam” co-hosted by the MOF and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the MOF indicated that it intends to adopt IFRS by 2020. VAA reports, as part of its efforts to support the MOF with its initiative, it plans to continue its efforts to promote awareness of IFRS and has provided the MOF with recommendations in relation to the standards. VAA also plans to continue offering training relevant to the standards and has organized a variety of workshops and courses to members discussing the feasibility, extent and approaches to adopting IFRS in Vietnam.
VAA states that in addition to providing continuing professional development (CPD) on IFRS and relevant accounting standards, it also regularly publishes articles on IFRS in its journal and other relevant publications. VAA also works with local universities, including National Economics University, Academy of Finance, and Hanoi University of Business and Technology on training programs related to accounting standards and incorporating IFRS into their respective curriculums.
In the next update of its SMO Action Plan, VAA is encouraged to provide updates to the initiative to adopt IFRS by 2020 and its activities around supporting the MOF.
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