Opportunities and solutions for training public accounting at universities in Vietnam

15:03 | 20/12/2021 Events

Recently, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Vietnam Association of Certified Public Accountants (VACPA) have cooperated with the Ministry of Finance (MOF), Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), World Bank (WB), Confederation of Asia-Pacific Accountants (CAPA), and universities to organize the webinar “Opportunities and solutions for training public accounting at universities in Vietnam”.

The event has attracted the participation of regulators, industry experts, people working in the public accounting and about 150 lecturers. It has focused on discussing opportunities and solutions for Vietnam universities’ public accounting education with the directions of State management agencies, tools from international organizations WB - CAPA - ACCA, and the experiences of universities specializing in public accounting.

In recent years, Vietnam’s international economic integration process has been accelerated. Joining in international economic bodies and fulfilling commitments with other international financial institutions require Vietnam to provide financial information that is standard, comparable and internationally recognized, especially in the public sector.

Dr. Vu Duc Chinh – Director of the Accounting and Auditing Supervisory Department of the MOF, shared about Vietnam’s significant progress in promulgating regulations in public accounting towards harmonization with international practices: “The MOF released the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) roadmap to 2023 in June 2019, and the Decision on 5 Vietnamese public sector accounting standards batch 1 in September 2021. The announcement and adoption of the Public Sector Accounting Standards bring benefits to international economic integration as well as enhance the confidence of investors, local and international financial institutions.”

Against this backdrop, universities need urgently review and develop new strategies for public accounting training to adapt recent developments in the legal framework of Vietnamese public sector accounting and training standards. “Issues of concern such as the current status of training demands, the necessity of training, separate or integrated public sector training programs, and the application of information technology are all critical to the quality of financial and accounting human resources in the future public sector,” Dr. Pham Nhu Nghe, Deputy Director of the Higher Education Department of the MOET, spoke in the webinar.

Based on the directions given by the management agencies, during the webinar, the current status of public accounting training in Vietnam as well as relevant issues has been outlined via the model of the Academy of Finance (AOF) and the University of Economics in Ho Chi Minh City (UEH). Specifically, the presentative of AOF shared their experiences in public accounting training including advantages, difficulties, opportunities, and challenges, and also made some recommendations to improve training quality. Meanwhile, the UEH focused on the academic subjects in the current curriculums of accounting programs at UEH and other universities; discussed on issues related to the plan of applying or integrating the Information Technology knowledge into the accounting training programs in the near future, especially public sector accounting.

Following the key issues presented earlier, speakers from WB - CAPA – ACCA provided their solutions for training public accounting at universities in Vietnam. In addition to their experience in supporting development and implementation of IPSAS in Vietnam, to the webinar, WB also introduced their PULSAR toolkit, which was developed to assist countries in integrating public sector accounting (PSA) into educational curricula.

“One of the purposes of our tool is to assist countries in developing in-country plans and implementing in-country processes that produce accountants with higher-order skills relevant to their economy’s rapidly evolving needs; and, improve financial reporting, auditing, and regulation. The guide supports transitioning accounting education, training, and certification from a knowledge-based approach to a competency-based approach,” added Ms. Bonnie Ann Sirois, Senior Financial Management (FM) Specialist, Coordinator for the FM Unit in Pacific, WB.

CAPA highlighted their initiatives to help professional accounting organizations improve public financial management. Its report “Extending activities into the public sector" 2021 is about the framework and activities that professional associations can support “Create supply" “Build demand" “Provide opportunity" and “Enhance skills''.

Mr. Brian Blood, CAPA Chief Executive, said, “With our mission to enhance the value of the accountancy profession in Asia Pacific by contributing to the development of Professional Accountancy Organizations (PAOs), CAPA supports and encourages high-quality financial reporting in the public sector: prepared on accrual-based accounting standards and audited based on international audit standards.”

ACCA also shared in the webinar their public accounting training experience, and introduced ACCA Certificate in IPSAS, which could help you meet the challenges of implementing IPSAS. “Early this month, we held the 12th ACCA International Public Sector Conference themed “Leading recovery in public finance” – as the annual event that attract over 1,000 leaders from public sector all over the world, many of those are ACCA members. ACCA also launched a report on experience of IPSAS implementation across the globe in 2017 and then introduced Certificate on IPSAS globally. In Vietnam, we are proud as the 1st global accountancy body present in Vietnam to celebrates 20th anniversary in 2022,” spoke Mr. Renjith Varma, Porfolio Head, ACCA Mainland Southeast Asia.

This webinar is part of the regular Forum co-hosted by VACPA and ACCA to support Universities improving the quality of accounting training programs, bringing about practical approach to public accounting training for Universities in Vietnam.

“VACPA is a professional body of the accountant and also auditing firms and recently we have been working to promote the independent auditing sector in Vietnam for the auditing field and also for the members of VACPA and the auditors in Vietnam. After November 10, 2021, VACPA have been officially recognised by the IFAC to become its member. This is a great recognition of our reputation and contribution to the increasing development of the accounting and auditing profession in Vietnam, and contributing to the international integration,” shared Mr. Pham Sy Danh, President of VACPA.