Myanmar Institute of Certified Public Accountants Profile


History


The Union of Burma (Myanmar) Revolutionary Council promulgated Burma Accountancy Council Law (BACL) in 1972 which created a new accountancy regulatory body called Burma Accountancy Council (BAC) and a new cadre of Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in Burma and allowed the previously qualified Registered Accountants (RAs) to be enrolled as CPAs. In 1994, the Government of the State Law and Order Restoration Council repealed the previous BACL 1972 by the new Myanmar Accountancy Council Law (MACL), 1994 updating the syllabus for CPA examinations, treating RAs as CPAs and recapturing the same professional ethics of auditors again in the new Law.


Myanmar Institute of Public Accountants (MICPA)


The Myanmar Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA) was first formed on 23 November 2013 as an association with the permission of the Ministry of Home Affairs. But on 31 March, 2014 it was established as a non-profit corporate entity, complete with its own memorandum of association and articles of association under Certificate of Incorporation No.1870 issued by the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, Ministry of Planning and Finance which was formed The Institute operates under the umbrella of the Myanmar Accountancy Council. As of now, the executive committee of the Institute consists of 19 members, of whom U Wan Tin is the Chairman, Dr. Tin Latt and U Moe Kyaw are Deputy Chairmen, U Aung Naing Maung Maung is the Secretary, U Myat Noe Aung is the Joint Secretary, and Daw Aye Thida is the Treasurer while the rest are CPAs. At present, MICPA has a staff of only 6, including CEO, to run its day-to-day operations.

The objectives of the Institute are:--

  1. To promote and develop the accounting profession and education to the international standards;
  2. To educate and require the members to maintain high standards of professionalism in the performance of their accounting and auditing assignments;
  3. To ensure that our members strictly observe both the letter and spirit of the code of professional conduct and ethics, as prescribed by MAC and Myanmar Accounting Standards;
  4. To ensure that our members practice their profession with impartiality, integrity and independence, thereby rendering high-quality professional services to their clientele;
  5. To widen the horizons of our members on accounting, auditing and related subjects by regularly conducting continuing professional education programs; and
  6. To contact and communicate with professional accounting institutes of not only ASEAN member countries, but also other advanced countries for exchange of the latest developments in accounting, auditing and other related fields.

Entry route to the CPA course

In the past, it has been the policy of MAC to allow only commerce graduates who obtain high marks in the final B. Com. Exam to attend the CPA course. Until recent years the CPA course has been the preserve of those who have graduated with B Com degrees only. However, starting in the academic year 2011, as a departure from its previous policy, MAC has decided to open its doors to access higher professional accounting education not only for all graduates of the Institute of Economics but also for other graduates, who have fully passed the final D.A. Exam. As a matter of fact, MAC has taken this measure as a way to broaden the base of CPA recruitment to include other graduates who have passed DA (Part II) Exam so they can to pursue higher accounting education. It also serves as a bridge for non-commerce graduates to cross over to the CPA courses, once they have passed DA (part II) Exams. These 2-year DA courses had been conducted by MAC for non-commerce graduates. Over the years a total of over 3,000 DAs have been produced. To further increase the number of qualified professional accountants, not only B.Com, but B.B.A but also B. Act graduates of the Universities of Economics across the country as well as those who have passed ACCA (Part 2) and CIMA (level 2) exams are allowed to attend the CPA course. Moreover, starting in the 2017 academic year, any graduate who pass the entrance test held by MAC is allowed to join the CPA course. Of course, all these measures are taken by MAC in order to meet the growing needs for qualified CPAs of the rapidly expanding business world in the wake of the Government’s relaxation of corporate laws such the Myanmar Companies Law, Income-tax Law, Myanmar Investment Law, to mention just a few.

Of course, this is the right step that MAC has taken to open up opportunities for all aspiring graduates of the Institute of Economics as well as other graduates holding DA certificates to pursue the highest professional post-graduate accounting education in the country. It is also aimed to produce sufficient numbers of CPAs and enable the corporate bodies to cope with the challenge of facing shortage of qualified accountants to manage the accounting side of their business operations, as our economy takes off into sustained growth under the current pro-free-market economic reforms of the Government. No doubt, diversity in the educational backgrounds of its members will contribute much towards the advancement of our accounting profession beyond all our expectations.

Over 4,000 CPAs have been produced by the MAC since the CPA courses were first introduced way back in 1972. Now the majority of them are serving in their various capacities as high-ranking Chief Accountants, Finance Managers, Professional Accountants, etc. in both the private and public sectors, thereby contributing much towards the development of the market-oriented economy of the Union of Myanmar, which has already opened up to private investment, both local and foreign. It is, of course, no exaggeration to say that more CPAs will need to be trained to cope with the growing needs of the ever-expending business community with the acceleration of our country’s economic development in the not distant future. Towards that end, under the new MAC Law 2015 passed by the Pyithu Hluttaw that came into force on 5 June, 2015 private schools are allowed to open the CPA courses to train more CPAs, using the syllabus approved by MAC under the supervision of MICPA.

Professional Development

As part of its efforts to disseminate knowledge of accounting standards among members of the accounting profession, over the years a series of seminars has been held by the MICPA on accounting and auditing standards, professional ethics, company law, taxation, etc. since the program of “continuing professional education (CPE)” was launched for its members who are required to complete the CPE hours prescribed by the MICPA within a 3-year period for annual registration as CPAs and as practicing accountants with the MAC. These seminars are geared to enhancing the professional competency and efficiency of all MICPA members in all aspects.

Moreover, in a bid to further disseminate knowledge of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) not only among the professional accountants, but also among the community of the business leaders, a series of seminars on IFRS as well as of workshops on training for trainers in respect of SMEs has been conducted under the auspices of MICPA. The aim was to enable the CPA trainees, who had been trained at the workshop, to hold similar workshops locally in order to impart the knowledge of IFRS for SMEs that they had gained from the MICPA-hosted workshops to those members of the accounting profession and leaders of the business community, who had not had the chance to attend it for some reason or other. They will come to realize that it is their responsibility to practically apply those FRS in the preparation of their financial statements with the assistance of CPAs. Only then will the financial statements become standardized, thereby facilitating the comparison of their financial performance across the whole spectrum of different industries for the benefit of not only stakeholders, but prospective investors, as well.

Corporation and collaboration with professional accounting organizations, both regional and international

Moreover, it has forged ties with professional accountancy bodies in Asian countries by seeking membership in the Asian Federation of Accountants, thereby harmonizing the Myanmar accounting and financial reporting standards with theirs across all types of industries. Moreover, MICPA has signed MoUs with international professional bodies, such as ACCA, ICAEW, ICMA, (UK), CMA (Australia) and also GIZ of Germany. MICPA has been working closely with them that provide MICPA with technical support on its all-round structural and professional development and capacity building. Moreover, recently 290 MICPA members have applied for ACPA (ASEAN Chartered Professional Accountants) qualifications and been recognized as ACPAs under the Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA) among the Asian member countries. They shall be allowed to practice accounting except auditing. As for auditing, they will have to fulfill the requirements prescribed by the respective countries. Last, but not least, on-going measures are under way to launch the PAO (Professional Accountancy Organization) Capacity Building Project in June, 2018 which is to be undertaken by ACCA with funding provided by the UK Government Department for International Development (DFID) as a crucial step toward fulfilling the requirements for admission to the membership in the International Federation of Accountants in the near future. Moreover, MAC signed the Open License Agreement with IFRS Foundation on 27 December 2017. Now arrangements are in the pipeline for MAC to adopt IFRS for Public Interest Enterprises (PIEs), including public companies, companies listed on the Yangon Stock Exchange (YEX), banks, insurance, micro-finance companies, etc. by issuing the necessary Notification. Once the Notification is issued, all corporate bodies shall have to comply with IFRS in the preparation of their financial statements.

Position of members registered with MICPA

The total number of members of MICPA stood at 1247 as of May 2018. Of them, practicing members are 802 and non-practicing members 445.

However, arrangements are under way to bring accountants in business, both local and foreign, into MICPA as members in addition to CPAs in order to not only exercise better control over their mobility across the industries, but also to increase membership of MICPA.

In conclusion, it is hoped that our MICPA members will do whatever they can to make the financial statements of public companies and SMEs they audit show true and fair positions of their financial affairs with transparency and accountability in all aspects for the benefit of shareholders, stakeholders and prospective investors, local and foreign alike. Also they will observe strictly their professional ethics such as integrity, impartiality, honesty, etc. in the pursuit of their profession.