Great minds think alike and the need for foundation of VACPA

In the 1990s, the Vietnam economy started to open and integrate and it was then when the independent audit activities in Vietnam started to take shape. After 20 years, audit firms have significantly grown in terms of both quantity and size, which contributes to the disclosure and transparency of economic and financial information of businesses and organizations, creating a favorable investment environment, and facilitating the socio-economic development. With the more intensive globalization and international economic integration trend, there is a pressing need to improve the professional level and quality of the independent audit services in Vietnam in order to get closer to the regional and international level. This practical requirement led to the need for foundation of a professional audit organization which was identified by the policy makers and professionals in the audit profession from 2001. A steering committee was then established by the Minister of Finance to make a proposal and prepare necessary conditions for the foundation of such organization.

With the same mindset and determination of the founders to develop the independent audit profession with high professionalism, after years of preparation, the launching congress of the Vietnam Association of Certified Public Accountants (VACPA) was held on 15 April 2005 in Hanoi where the Association’s Charter and mission were approved and the Executive Board for the 1st term (2005-2008) was elected which comprised the Association’s senior management, representatives of the state bodies and members who are leaders of the audit firms operating in Vietnam. VACPA’s operations officially commenced from 1st January 2006 with 2 offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city. The motto of “VACPA – Independence – Integrity – Transparency” has been the guideline for all of its operations. Since foundation, VACPA has chosenthe same business model to that of an international professional accountancy organization in which each member is directly administered by the central office. Despite a number of challenges, including the insufficiency of facilities and difficulties in carrying out its activities, with the determination of building and developing a professional accountancy organization, with the support of the state bodies, espescially the Ministry of Finance, of members and partners, among other, the Executive Boards of the 3 terms and professional staff of 2 VACPA offices have during the past 10 years made great efforts to makeVACPA a professional accountancy organization with several aspects of its operation assessed by the Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA) as of good practices based on the criteria for measurement of maturity levels of international professional accountancy organizations.

Overcoming difficult operating conditions, VACPA has beendeveloping in accordance with the model of an international professional accountancy organization and built up the trust of members and state bodies, contributing to the development of the independent audit profession and the economy of Vietnam.

Since foundation, the activities of VACPA have been paid attention to and given direction by the Ministry of Finance, proved by its being delegated by the Ministry of Finance to perform a number of technical tasks and assist in regulating the profession. One of the important decisions made in 2005 was Decision No. 47/2005/QD-BTC dated 14 July 2005 transferring to VACPA a number of work related to regulation of audit practising. In 2007, the Ministry of Finance issued Decision 32/2007/QD-BTCpromulgating the audit quality assurance review regulation and delegated VACPA to directly conduct the reviews of audit firms. Especially by Decision No. 1053/QD-BTC dated 13 May 2008, VACPA was delegated by the Ministry of Finance to study, formulate and update the Vietnamese Standards on Auditing. The scope of professional operation of VACPA which is prescribed in Article 12 of the Independent Audit Law and Article 4 of Decree No. 17/2012/ND-CP has affirmed its position in the development of the independent audit profession in Vietnam.

10 years of development is a 10-year journey of continuous efforts to make improvements in order to contribute to facilitating the development of the independent audit profession in Vietnam with a series of outstanding achievements acknowledged by the state bodies, members and partners.

1.In terms of organizational structure, VACPA has estabished and gradually strengthened its organizational structure in accordance with the model of an international professional accountancy organization.

Through 3 congresses with the Executive Boards of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd terms who are accounting practitioners, audit practitioners or regulators of the accounting and auditing profession, and who have auditor’s certificates.

The number of members of the Executive Board and technical committees has increased to keep up with the growth of VACPA’s activities.

The 1st Executive Board includes 15 members, with 4 technical committees

The 2nd Executive Board includes 17 members, with 5 technical committees

The 3rd Executive Board includes 21 members, with Standing Committee, Inspection Board and 6 technical committees

The Executive Boards have issued 13 operating regulations to provide the bases for the activities of the Associaton.

2. Membership development is one of the outstanding achievements of VACPA, with the attraction of a huge number of members with high professional levels. The interests of members have also been always given special importance and quality improved.

After 10 years of development, the number of members of VACPA has increased significantly, from the first 377 members to a total of 1593 individual members and 80 firm members.

In the activities of VACPA, the interests of members have always been considered the core element and first priority. With such policy, VACPA has been improving and increasing the interests for members. VACPA has provided members with the benefit of 50% discount of CPD fees and has not increased CPD fees for members for 3 consecutive years. Members have received technical support by means of free Q&A sessions,responses to queries of the current issues of the profession, and provision of legal documents via Ebook and website. The small- and medium-sized audit firms have been provided with free financial reporting manual, sample audit program, and training services of practical audit in accordance with the sample audit program, and assisted in dealing with shortcomings identified through annual quality review visits, etc.

Firm members are encouraged to promote their business and publish recruitment information free of charge on VACPA’s website, enjoy a discount of 5% of CPD fees over the total CPD fees of the individual members working for such firms, and arerecommended for the scholarship programs of the partners of VACPA.

VACPA also pays attention to the networking activities between members, and encourages the sporting spirit and endeavors of members via “VACPA Tennis Cup” and “VACPA Football Cup” which are responded by members with enthusiastism.

The awarding of members is also implemented regularly in order to timely acknowledge the contributions of members and encourage members to engage in the development of the independent audit profession in Vietnam.

3. Training is the activity which was formed and strengthened first among the activities of VACPA. This activity has proved its professionalism and been continuously innovated and improved, which has contributed to the development of VACPA during the past 10 years and creating the current position of VACPA.

In the first year of operation, VACPA actively worked with the Accounting and Auditing Policies Department of the Ministry of Finance to organize classroom-based CPD events for Vietnamese and foreign auditors. From 2007, VACPA has independently organizedCPD courses for members and auditors. The forms of training have been continuously improved and diversified with a variety of topics relevant to different professional levels of audience. The organization of courses has also been improved and standardized in accordance with the requirements of the Ministry of Finance. VACPA organizes an average of 30 courses each year which attracts approximately 5,000 participants.

VACPA has also invested in building and improving practical skills for the future auditors via audit practice training programs for junior auditors and senior university students. This program has attracted 1,041 participants since 2012.

VACPA has participated in issuing examination application forms, organizing review courses, examination council and organizing examinations. With an advanced approach of organizing courses and continuous updates of contents, VACPA is considered an effective training provider.

The technical consultancy activity has been improved to assist members to enhance their professional services quality, by means of answering technical questions sent by members, or directly via Q&A sessions. VACPA has also contributed ideas to the state bodies, and performed the social criticism functiontowards a number of legal projects and legal documents related to accounting, auditing, tax and securities market.

4. VACPA has fully discharged the function of quality assurance review of audit firms in accordance with the regulations and guidance of the Ministry of Finance.

The quality assurance review activity of VACPA was conducted as per mandate by the Ministry of Finance, and the reviewees were audit firms. This was a specific characteristic of VACPA which was different from other professional accoutancy organizations in the world and derived from the roadmap of development of the independent audit profession of Vietnam. The issuance of the Circular 157/2014/TT-BTC dated 23 October 2014 has reduced the scope of engagement of VACPA in the quality assurance review activity of the Ministry of Finance but opened a new possibility for VACPA to have its own quality assurance review program for its members in accordance with international practices. In order to carry our this task, the Executive Board of VACPAdetermines to change their thinking, perception and method towards quality review to remove the impression of inspection and control, move toward the thinking of “all for the best interests of members”, and operate in a way that really supports members to improve their professional services and more in linewith international practices.

5. VACPA completed management of audit practising registration (2006-2011) and continues to update the register of audit practitioners and members to provide information to the public.

Since the first year of establishment, despite limit of expert resource, VACPA has appointed representatives to participate in the setting boards of accounting standards, independent audit law and decrees and circulars guiding the independent audit law, and at the same time actively engaged in the course of formulating legal documents of accounting and auditing of the Ministry of Finance, other regulators and organizations.

With the trust and mandate of the Ministry of Finance, VACPA chaired and completed the formulation of 37 Vietnamese Standards on Auditing in the first stage and another 10 standards in the second stage.

6. External relations and international cooperation is also one of the outstanding achievements of VACPA during its journey of 10 years.

As a young professional accountancy organization (PAO) compared with other PAOs in the region and the world, VACPA has made non-stop effors to maintain and strengthen the relationships with domestic and international bodies and organizations to learn and exchange experience in operation, improve the reputation and image of its members, connecting the independent audit profession of Vietnam with international PAOs, and bring the professional voice of Vietnam to the region and the world. The signing of MOUswas the first step to create the foundation for the cooperation activities. VACPA has signed MOUs with the State Audit Office, Corporate Finance Department, Vietnam Tax Consultants’ Association, State Securities Commission and with 10 local universities.

VACPA has also signed MOUs and implemented cooperation activities with 11 high profile international PAOs including ACCA, CPA Australia, ICAEW, ICPAS, CIMA, IMA, etc.

The relation with the donor organizations, especially the World Bank has been maintained regularly and effectively:

VACPA is the 68th member of the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA)

Member of the Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA) since 2010

And is applying for membership of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).

Membership of the prestigious international organizations is a big progress of VACPA in leading the audit profession of Vietnam integrate with the world economy.

VACPA has paid special attention to promoting the profession via information provided to the press and the media, presentations in workshops, discussions and conferences, etc. The official organ of VACPA is the user-friendly webiste with practical, diverse and updated contents. The website has become an useful medium for exchange of information between members, audit firms, enterprises, domestic and international professional organizations.

With its continuous efforts during the past 10 years, VACPA has actively contributed to the quick development of the independent audit profession in Vietnam.

These achievements were acknowledged by a number of prestigious titles and awards: In 2011, VACPA was awared with a third class labor medal and many individuals and firm members were awarded by the Government, Ministry of Finance, Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA) and its achievements have been highly appreciated andacknowleged by international organizations.

After 10 years of development, VACPA is at the 3th level of maturity in accordance with the MATURITY MODEL of CAPA

In the next development stage, within the context of the economy of Vietnam in general and the independent audit profession of Vietnam in particular integrating broadly in the world economy, VACPA will face more difficulties and challenges, and therefore it is required to change and have right strategies and directions to confirm its roles.

In the next 10 years, the goal of VACPA to 2025 is to become a high profile professional organization in Vietnam, in the ASEAN region and in the world which is trusted by its members and whose role, professionalism and operating quality are acknowledged by the state bodies and associations of higher levels and whose maturity is at the 4thlevel inaccordance with the maturity model of CAPA.

Continuing the objectives of the 4th term, the goals of the 5th term to 2025 has also been set. To make VACPA a professional accountancy organization which meets the criteria of the 4th level of maturityin accordance with the maturity model of CAPA. To be a high profile professional accountancy organization in Vietnam and among the member bodies of CAPA and IFAC, and represent the independent audit profession of Vietnam in international forums.

In the 4th term, VACPA will operate in accordance with 3 main principles:




After a journey of 10 years, after the difficulities and challenges we have overcome together, after our significant achievements, at this moment, let us celebrate and anticipate the stronger development of VACPA!


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