ASEAN Accountants towards ASEAN Economic Community 2015

ASEAN Accountants towards ASEAN Economic Community 2015

By Dr. Sovathana Sokhom

On Tuesday, 5th of November 2013, Dr. Sovathana Sokhom (Vice President of Academic Affairs) participated in the “18th AFA Conference on ASEAN Accountants towards ASEAN Economic Community 2015.” The main goal of the conference was to harmonize the accounting profession in ASEAN member countries. A total of eight guest speakers from the Philippines, Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Cambodia helped facilitate the  conference.

The financial crisis drastically reduced investor’s confidence in the financial sector that is poorly regulated. When audited the financial sector showed many flaws and irregular policy regulations. The challenge to rebuild the accountancy reputation, to adopt and implement international accountancy standard (get Professional Accountancy Organizations (PAOs) around the world to make a commitment to the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) through member-bodies), and to restore investor’s confidence still remain to be accomplished in many ASEAN member countries - as member-bodies are required to demonstrate compliance with international accountancy standards through Statements of Membership Obligations (SMOs).

According to International Standards for Accountancy, the following international standards are needed to restore investor’s confidence in the financial sector.

  1. International Accounting Education Standards
  2. International Auditing and Assurance Standards
  3. International Public Sector Accounting Standards
  4. International Financial Reporting Standards.

Based on the Statements of Membership Obligations, member ASEAN states are required to have a framework for credible and high quality professional accountancy organization. Also members are to have a clear benchmark to assure high quality performance by professional accountants. And, a monitoring tool on implementation of international standards by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).

There are seven Statements of Membership Obligations (SMOs) that must be obliged by:

SMO 1 – Quality Assurance
SMO 2 – International Accounting Education Standards (IAES)
SMO 3 – International Assurance and Auditing Standards (IAAS)
SMO 4 – IESBA (International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants) Code of Ethics
SMO 5 – International Public Sector Financial Reporting Standards (IPSAS)
SMO 6 – Investigation and Discipline
SMO 7 – International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)
(Source: Dean Estelita C. Aguirre, 18th AFA Conference, November 5, 2013, Phnom Penh, Cambodia).

What is relevant for the University of Cambodia is SMO 2 aimed at promoting International Accounting
Education Standards (IAES). The University of Cambodia could promote Bachelor’s degree program emphasizing
that UC accounting classes are conducted according to SMO 2.