ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Accountancy Services

ASEAN  Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Accountancy Services (MRAA)

The goal of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is to create, not destroy. That is why the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) was established in 2015. The AEC aims to transform ASEAN into a single market and production base that will allow the ASEAN member states (AMS) to enjoy free movement of goods, services and investment, as well as benefit from smoother flow of capital and skilled labour.

With business services like accountancy being an important part of economies and trade, the liberalisation of trade in services will help ASEAN to achieve the objectives of the AEC sooner. Under the AEC, the mobility of accountants within the region is facilitated by the Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Accountancy Services (MRAA) which was signed by all ten ASEAN member states in 2014. The objectives of the MRAA are as follows:

  1. To facilitate mobility of accountancy services professionals across ASEAN;
  2. To enhance the current regime for the provision of accountancy services in the AMS;
  3. To exchange information in order to promote adoption of best practices on standards and qualifications.

Singapore Monitoring Committee

Under the MRAA, each ASEAN country must set up its own Monitoring Committee (MC) to develop and maintain a process of submitting ASEAN Chartered Professional Accountants (ASEAN CPA)/ Registered Foreign Professional Accountants (RFPA) applications to the ASEAN Chartered Professional Accountant Co-ordinating Committee (ACPACC). In the case of Singapore, the Singapore Monitoring Committee (SMC) has been set up by ISCA.

As stipulated by the MRAA, the SMC shall be authorized to assess and certify the qualification and experience of the applicants. The SMC shall further undertake, amongst others, to ensure that Professional Accountants applying for

A) ASEAN CPA:

  1. Comply fully with the MRA requirements;
  2. Provide evidence that they have complied with ISCA’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) compliance policy; and
  3. Withdraw and deregister the ASEAN CPA from the ASEAN Chartered Professional Accountant Register (ACPAR) in the event that the professional accountant  has contravened the MRA.

B) RFPA:

  1. Hold a valid ASEAN CPA title at the point of application
  2. Is endorsed by their National Accountancy Body (NAB) / Professional Regulatory Authority (PRA) through a certificate of good standing

SMC will assess the applicant and if necessary, interview the applicant covering relevant work experience, technical knowledge and code of professional conduct.

SMC will then make recommendations on the ASEAN CPA applications to ACPACC. Once ACPACC approves the ASEAN CPA applications, the successful applicants will be accorded the title of ASEAN CPA and placed on the ASEAN CPA Register maintained by ACPACC.

For individuals who have been successfully awarded RFPA title by ISCA, they would be placed on the RFPA Register maintained by SMC.