Viet Nam issues first-ever Public Sector Accounting Standards

Saturday, Oct 30, 2021 11:43

The launching of the first set of Public Sector Accounting Standards was held both online and offline. — Photo courtesy of the finance ministry

The Ministry of Finance (MoF), with support from the WB, Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and the Global Affairs Canada, on Friday launched the first set of Public Sector Accounting Standards (VPSASs), in full compliance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards.

A complete set of 21 standards will be introduced between now and 2024, following a roadmap issued by the Ministry.

This marks an important milestone in Viet Nam’s quest to establish a sound public financial reporting framework, in tandem with the development of the consolidated whole of Government Financial Statements.

The issuance and adoption of VPSASs in Viet Nam will provide a reliable basis for the evaluation of the financial performance of the public sector, leading to improved decision-making and enhanced accountability, according to a press release issued on Friday.

It also supports Viet Nam in improving its sovereign credit rating by having better fiscal disciplines and as a result, could help lower borrowing costs, the press release said.

"The development and publication of the public accounting standards is an objective necessity which arises from the need for a unified State financial management, international integration, and examination and inspection of accounting activities in the State accounting area. This will create important models and standards for the State accounting, contributing to better manage and govern the national finance at both micro and macro levels," said Vice Minister of Finance Ta Anh Tuan.

The Finance Ministry introduced Decision No 1676/QD-BTC on September 1 announcing the first of Viet Nam's five public sector accounting standards.

“We believe that this is a significant start in our plan to announce the full set of Viet Nam's public sector accounting standards in the coming time. The move not only serves as the basis for units to better perform their accounting work but also facilitates Viet Nam to have consistent bases and orientations to amend and revise financial mechanisms in the public sector," said Tuan.

“This is truly a joint effort and we greatly appreciate the trust and partnership that we have developed with all relevant partners to make this happen. This development is very timely given the fiscally constrained environment that Viet Nam is facing” said Steffi Stallmeister, Operations Manager, World Bank Office in Viet Nam. “By taking a major step to improve public sector financial reporting, the government’s credibility and public confidence and trust in the public sector will be greatly boosted.”

"The introduction of the public sector accounting standards will be the common foundation for and orientation towards the synchrony of the public sector's financial mechanisms, in conformity with international practices, and better serve the accounting and management works of units in the public sector," said Director-General of the MoF's Accounting Auditing Supervision Department, Vu Duc Chinh.

The development of the first set of VPSAS is supported by the Public Financial Management Analytical and Advisory Assistance Program period 2016-2021, co-financed by the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs and the Global Affairs Canada, and entrusted through the World Bank. The programme’s overall objective is to support Viet Nam’s reforms in Public Financial Management at both national and sub-national levels.

The programme will continue supporting the Finance Ministry to develop and issue other VPSASs in the next phases and monitor the implementation and application of issued accounting standards.

“The introduction of Viet Nam Public Sector Accounting Standards is an important milestone in all the efforts under the Public Financial Management Program towards improving the effectiveness of public spending and strengthening public resource management for an inclusive and sustainable development,” said Werner Gruber, Head of Cooperation, Swiss Cooperation Office, Embassy of Switzerland in Viet Nam.

According to the Vice Finance Minister, in the 2021-2024 period, the MoF will announce 21 public accounting standards in four phases. After 2024, standards with major differences will be made public, which need to be studied and applied when sufficient relevant conditions have been established to resolve differences in accordance with Vietnamese conditions.

More than 40 countries have adopted IPSASs, and many countries in the region such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore have issued IPSAS-compliant public sector accounting standards. — VNS

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