Opportunities and solutions for training public accounting at Vietnamese universities

December 20, 2021 | 22:35
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The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Vietnam Association of Certified Public Accountants (VACPA) have recently teamed up with the Ministry of Finance (MoF), Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), World Bank, Confederation of Asia-Pacific Accountants (CAPA), and diverse universities to organise the webinar “Opportunities and solutions for training public accounting at universities in Vietnam”.
Opportunities and solutions for training public accounting at Vietnamese universities
The recent webinar aims to help bolster the quality of public accounting education at Vietnamese universities

The event, featuring the presence of regulators, industry experts, people working in public accounting, and about 150 lecturers, focused on discussing opportunities and solutions for Vietnam universities’ public accounting education following directions of state management agencies, with tools from international organisations (WB, CAPA, and ACCA), and the experiences of universities specialising in public accounting.

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

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 harmonisation with international practices.

Universities need to 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.

Accordingly, the MoF released the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) roadmap to 2023 in June 2019, and the decision on five 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,” said Chinh.

Against this backdrop, universities need to 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 programmes, and the application of IT are all critical to the quality of financial and accounting human resources in the future public sector,” said Pham Nhu Nghe, deputy director of the Higher Education Department of the MoET at 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 was outlined via the model of the Academy of Finance (AoF) and the University of Economics in Ho Chi Minh City (UEH). Specifically, the representative 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 programmes at UEH and other universities; discussed on issues related to the plan of applying or integrating the IT knowledge into the accounting training programmes in the near future, especially public sector accounting.

Following the key issues presented earlier, speakers from the World Bank-CAPA-ACCA provided their solutions for training public accounting at universities in Vietnam. In addition to their experience in supporting the development and implementation of the IPSAS in Vietnam, to the webinar, the World Bank 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 Bonnie Ann Sirois, senior financial management (FM) specialist, coordinator for the FM Unit in Pacific, World Bank.

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

“With our mission to enhance the value of the accountancy profession in the Asia-Pacific by contributing to the development of Professional Accountancy Organisations (PAOs), CAPA supports, and encouraging high-quality financial reporting in the public sector: preparing accrual-based accounting standards and auditing based on international audit standards,” said Brian Blood, CAPA chief executive.

The ACCA also shared in the webinar their public accounting training experience and introduced ACCA Certificate in IPSAS, which could help address the challenges of implementing IPSAS.

This webinar is part of the regular forum co-hosted by the VACPA and the ACCA to support universities improving the quality of accounting training programmes, bringing a practical approach to public accounting training for Vietnamese universities.

By Anh Duc

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